Among the states, California is one of the toughest when it comes to crackdowns on drug trafficking. If you are currently facing charges of crimes related to drug trafficking, it is important to know what you may be facing if convicted.

FindLaw takes a look at how drug trafficking convictions are handled in California. Any crime involving the transport or sale of illicit drugs is classified as a felony. As such, you may face between 3 to 9 years in jail and a hefty fine. Even first-time offenders can end up facing up to $20,000 in fines.

Drug traffickers who are “big names” can face even harsher penalties. These are people who are well known on the drug trafficking scene with responsibility for or involvement in numerous drug rings, drug operations, or the international transportation of drugs. In fact, it is possible to get a life sentence due to crimes related to trafficking illicit substances. In these cases, the minimum prison sentence you may be looking at is still 15 years.

It’s important to note that to be charged with drug trafficking, you don’t necessarily need to have been in contact with the substance itself. If you offer or agree to the transportation, administration, selling or giving away of any illicit substance, that is enough for a trafficking charge.

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, consider contacting an experienced attorney who understands what you stand to lose if convicted. They can help you defend yourself against these charges and regain your future.