March 24, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

If You Are Arrested for Selling Drugs and the Police Saw You Making Several Sales, You Must Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney.

If you were arrested for selling drugs in a California drug crime, you should know the difference between consecutive and concurrent sentences because new case law might affect your maximum exposure to time in prison.

In re: Noelle M., a minor was arrested for selling methadone at a high school homecoming football game. He sold pills to seven students, two of which overdosed and died after ingesting them. The defendant was charged with two counts of manslaughter, one count of conspiracy to sell narcotics, and five separate counts of selling narcotics.

The court found the defendant guilty on all 8 counts and sentenced him to consecutive sentences for each count. The defendant appealed and argued that since he was selling drugs throughout the night, there was only one continuous course of conduct.

However, the court of appeals disagreed and stated that each drug transaction was a separate act. Therefore, the court held that giving the defendant back-to-back sentences on each count was legal because each transaction was separate and distinct from the others.

What does this mean for you? Say you’re at a rave and you get caught selling ecstasy pills to a bunch of people that night. If the police were to arrest you and you were convicted of each sale, you could be looking at back-to-back sentences for each sale. That means your maximum exposure could be several years depending on how many sales you made.

For instance, if you’re charged with violating California Health and Safety code 11352(a), and you are charged with several different sales, you could be punished separately for each sale even though you were only arrested once that night.

This is why if you or a loved one is being accused of selling drugs in California, it is incredibly important to choose the right attorney and the right law firm to represent you. Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorneys in California know what it takes to defend their clients in drug sale cases. You can speak to one of their attorneys by calling now at 877-466-5245, or you may go to our website at for more information about setting up an appointment.

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