Skip to main content

Is transportation of a controlled substance and distribution of a controlled substance the same criminal act

Vallejo, CA |

I have been charged with possession and transportation of a controlled substance. I am currently fighting this case now but my TWIC card was revoked when I applied for a renewal because it states that I have committed an offense in which I can be denied: “distribution of, possession with intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance.” I want to appeal this decision because I feel that my transportation charge and the distribution charge are two different offenses. Please advise. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

The same code section can criminalize multiple types of conduct, and often does; that's not a valid ground for appeal. When prosecutors file charges, they allege a violation of a code section which may prohibit a variety of types of conduct, like transporting or possessing with the intent to sell.
You're also asking if you can "appeal" a decision which you simultaneously are 'currently fighting.' That's pretty confusing. You want to appeal the decision of the administrative agency who revoked your card? In that case you should get an administrative/licensing law attorney-- there are some extremely talented admin/licensing folks on Avvo (I'd recommend one in particular who is on here all the time but I think that would violate the rules of this forum.)
As for the CRIMINAL case, please, don't try to handle this yourself. Rely on the advice of your attorney.

Any answer provided on Avvo, including this one, is a general answer about a legal question, not specific legal advice. Different lawyers may analyze this or any other matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am licensed in the state of California and the Central District of the Ninth Circuit.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree with my colleague, it seems that you are seeking a remedy for two different issues. Your TWIC card's revocation is an administrative decision that is likely appealable in that administrative agency. This appeal will have little effect on your criminal charges.

To avoid a criminal conviction you will need to work with your criminal defense attorney to prepare your defense.

Gabriela M. Lopez, Esq.
www.landerholmlawoffice.com

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

I would contact TSA and see. Transportation of a controlled substance is sometimes treated like a sales offense, but you can absolutely dispute it, especially if the transportation was for personal use. Transportation is a middle ground offense in terms of how seriously it is treated (less serious than sales, but more serious than possession). If the facts of your case support your position, you may be able to renew your TWIC card.

Best,

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
t: 323.803.4352 | f: 323.617.3838
www.iDefendLosAngeles.com
Nicholas.Loncar@iDefendLosAngeles.com
Sunset Law Building | 1295 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA | 90027

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you, I plan on appealing it. I plan on sending in the Felony Complaint, where it lists the counts of criminal acts and the report of the arresting officer where he states that I said it was for personal use. Is there anything else I should send in with my appeal letter? Also is the main thing they are looking for is the selling portion as opposed to merely being in position of a controlled substance?

Nicholas Milan Loncar

Nicholas Milan Loncar

Posted

I think you've got it exactly right. They sometimes jump to conclusions with the transportation charges. Good luck and feel free to contact me with any questions. Fighting the criminal charges will also be very important. Depending on your record, you may be eligible for a diversion that could keep your record clean and not let the arrest drag down your future.

Posted

I respectfully disagree. Transportation is punished MORE harshly than possession for sale. Ie, marijuana: 16.2.3 for sales, 2.3.4 for transportation.

The opinions rendered herein are based on general principles of law. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and there are often numerous factors which can render advice or an opinion inapplicable. You should NOT make any decisions about the handling of a legal matter without first directly consulting with an attorney about the particulars of your case.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

An analogous situation often arises in immigration courts. Distribution is grounds for deportation but transportation is not. Where the record is unclear about which happened, such as in the case of a plea where the facts are not read into the record, immigration courts have found that the assumption must favor the defendant as to which it was. The same rules apply to an administrative hearing. If, however, it is clear on the record what you did was distribution you are not going to get anywhere arguing the ambiguity if the code.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Immigration topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics