Drug trafficking or distribution is defined as when a person or group is transporting, selling, manufacturing, or delivering controlled substances. While this term encompasses a broad range of matters, generally, anyone who is arrested for this crime could face felony charges, which carry harsh penalties.

At Appel & Morse, our team is backed by more than 40 years of collective legal experience and the experience of former prosecutors. For client convenience, we make ourselves available on evenings and weekends and offer free case evaluations to get your case started off on the right foot.

Contact us today to learn more about your legal options!


Penalties could include a minimum of three to five years in prison, and even life imprisonment for the most severe of offenses. If you or a loved one has been charged with drug trafficking, you need to reach out to a Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney right away.

The penalties could be enhanced based on other factors carried out during trafficking, such as:

  • If minors were involved
  • If the accused person has a previous criminal history
  • If the crime was carried out with other types of criminal offenses
  • If the trafficking occurred in a restricted area, such as a school
  • If the accused person was found transporting drugs and other controlled substances prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act


The government classifies certain substances as “controlled,” meaning that the law governs how those substances will be used and distributed. The type of drug, as well as the amount, are some of the elements that ultimately factor into how severe the penalties may be.

There are also different categories that each drug falls under, which are called “Schedules,” and vary based on the tendency for someone to abuse or use beyond what is accepted medically. Schedule I drugs are considered the most likely to be abused. Some examples of Schedule I drugs may include heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, and cocaine.

Can Drug Trafficking Charges be Dropped in Santa Barbara?

Drug Trafficking charges can be dropped. However, a judge may dismiss charges if a successful motion to dismiss has been filed.


Appel & Morse is a husband and wife team of Santa Barbara drug crime attorneys. We are fully devoted to protecting your legal rights, and we do that through tenacious, aggressive advocacy. The courtroom can be an intimidating place, but we are here to make sure that you understand every step of the trial process. You should have nothing to fear from here on out when you choose us to fight for you.

To get started, schedule a free criminal consultation—(805) 467-6060!

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