Free Consultation | Se habla español


when you need it most

Photo of Herbert J. Weston and Tanya L. Weston

New California Law Puts Special Punishment on Fentanyl Dealing

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Drug Crimes

As the national fentanyl addiction crisis deepens, California lawmakers have taken an aggressive step to punish offenders. Effective since the beginning of 2024, a new law imposes harsher penalties for those convicted of distributing this potent drug. Under this new law, the penalty for selling or distributing more than one kilogram of fentanyl includes an automatic addition of three years to the original sentence, with penalties escalating with the quantity of the drug involved, reaching up to an additional 25 years for trafficking more than 80 kilograms.

The Debate on Effectiveness

This legislation has sparked a debate on its potential effectiveness. Proponents argue that the stricter penalties will serve as a deterrent, potentially reducing the presence of fentanyl in communities and decreasing overdose fatalities.

However, opponents, including the California Public Defenders Association, argue that increasing penalties may not effectively deter drug use or trafficking. They suggest that such measures could actually cause more overdose deaths by making individuals more reluctant to seek help in overdose situations due to fear of harsh legal consequences. The association also highlighted concerns that the law fails to distinguish adequately between low-level dealers, who are often also users selling drugs to support their addictions, and major traffickers. This lack of distinction, they argue, could lead to unintended consequences, affecting those most in need of support rather than the intended targets of the law.

Seeking Legal Guidance

For residents of Vista and surrounding areas, understanding the implications of this new law is crucial, especially for those who might find themselves or someone they know implicated in fentanyl distribution charges. If you or someone close to you is facing such charges, consulting with a defense attorney promptly is advisable. The sooner you speak with a defense lawyer, the better your rights will be protected.