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An overview of California cocaine laws

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Drug Crimes

It is illegal to possess, sell or traffic cocaine in California. If you are caught with this substance, you could face a variety of penalties such as a fine, probation or incarceration. The severity of your sentence will depend on the amount of cocaine you’re found with, your criminal history and whether your crime is classified as nonviolent.

Punishments for nonviolent crimes

If you are a first-time offender charged with a nonviolent crime, you could receive treatment in lieu of probation or jail time. In the event that you have a criminal record, you could receive up to 90 days in jail instead of spending several years in a state prison.

If you’re caught selling cocaine

The penalties for selling cocaine depend largely on the facts of your case. For instance, you could spend up to nine years in prison for drug crimes involving selling cocaine to a minor if you’re more than five years older than the buyer. You could receive up to nine years as well if you sell cocaine to students at a preschool or daycare or if a sale takes place at a school.

The punishment for trafficking cocaine

If you are convicted of trafficking cocaine, you can expect a sentence of up to five years in prison. Your sentence can be extended to up to nine years if it was trafficked to a noncontiguous county.

If you are charged with the possession or sale of cocaine, it doesn’t mean that you have committed a crime. The prosecutor in your case must show that you intended to possess or sell this substance. You can counter this assertion by casting doubt on police testimony, lab results or other evidence used against you before or during a formal trial.