Sale or Transportation of Methamphetamine in California
Health & Safety Code 11379 HS

California Health and Safety Code 11379 HS makes it a California felony to sell methamphetamine or to transport methamphetamine for sale.

Other illegal acts under HS 11379 include giving away meth or administering it to another person. You also violate California's sale/transportation of methamphetamine law just by offering to do any of these things.1

The penalties for selling or transporting methamphetamines in California include two (2), three (3) or four (4) years in jail. And the potential jail sentence under HS 11379 increases if:

  • you transport meth across two or more county lines in California with intent to sell it,
  • you sell a large quality of methamphetamine, or
  • you use a minor to help you sell or transport for sale methamphetamines.2

Also, you are not eligible for drug diversion (treatment) instead of jail time if you are convicted of HS 11379 methamphetamine trafficking.

But our California methamphetamine defense lawyers know the most effective legal defenses for getting HS 11379 charges reduced (or even dismissed outright).

Hand holding bag of methamphetamine
Sale/transportation of methamphetamine under HS 11379 is a serious felony in California.

Below, our California drug crimes defense attorneys answer the following frequently asked questions about California's laws on selling or transporting methamphetamines:

1. What drugs does Health & Safety Code 11379 HS apply to?

California Health and Safety Code 11379 HS prohibits the sale and transportation of stimulants and other non-narcotic drugs. These include methamphetamines--also known as meth, crystal, crystal meth, speed, blow, rock, tina, chalk, ice, glass, or crank.

But HS 11379 also applies to other stimulants as well. These include:

2. What is the legal definition of sale or transport of methamphetamines in California?

HS 11379 makes it illegal to do any of the following:

  • Sell or exchange crystal meth for money, services or anything else of value,
  • Transport meth from one location to another (regardless of distance) with the intent to sell it,
  • Give away or provide crank to others,
  • Administer meth to someone else, and/or
  • Offer or attempt to perform any of the foregoing acts.3
Bags of meth handcuffs fingerprints
Health and Safety Code 11379 makes it a crime to give away or administer--as well as to sell or transport--methamphetamines.

In order to prove that you are guilty of methamphetamine trafficking under 11379 HS, the prosecutor must prove that you:

  1. Engaged in at least one of the specific acts mentioned above,
  2. Knew of the drug's presence and nature as a controlled substance, and
  3. Sold or transported a “usable amount” of methamphetamine.4

Let's take a closer look at how the prosecution proves some of these elements.

Selling/transporting/administering methamphetamine

You can be guilty of methamphetamine sale or transportation even if you didn't personally handle the meth. HS 11379 just requires that you have control over the crystal meth in some way, either personally or through another person.5

Example: Lou works as a middleman for someone who runs a California meth lab. He talks to Karina, a young woman who has agreed to be paid to act as a “mule” for the meth.

Lou tells Karina to drive a quantity of methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Modesto. Once in Modesto, she will sell it to a drug dealer.

Lou is guilty of sale/transportation of methamphetamines under HS 11379 even though he will never personally handle the drugs.


To convict you under Health and Safety Code 11379, the prosecutor must also show that:

  1. you knew of the drug's presence, and
  2. you knew of its nature as a controlled substance as defined by California law and the United States Controlled Substances Act.6

Example: Latoya's friend Beth is passing through Latoya's town on her way home from Mexico.

Beth has a large stash of “diet pills” with her. She tells Latoya they were purchased over the counter in Mexico and are legal here. Beth then leaves the pills behind at Latoya's house when she leaves for her own home.

Not sure what else to do with the pills, Latoya decides to sell them. But it turns out they are a drug covered under HS 11379.

Since Latoya thought the drugs were legal, she may have a defense to the HS 11379 charges.

But note that you do not need to know the name of a drug or its precise chemical makeup. It is enough to support Health & Safety Code 11379 HS charges that you generally understand that you were dealing with an illegal drug.

Roll of bills beside drugs
Knowledge that you were dealing with a controlled substance is an element of the crime of meth sales/transportation.

Usable quantity of methamphetamines

You are only guilty of sale or transportation of methamphetamines if you had enough of the controlled substance so that it could actually be used as a drug.

This does not mean there had to be enough to get someone high. It simply means that you had to have sold—or transported for sale--more than mere traces or residue of meth.7

3. How can I fight charges of HS 11379 sale/transport of methamphetamines?

The best defenses for fighting HS 11379 charges depend on the circumstances of your case. But some of the most useful drug crimes defenses, in the experience of our methamphetamine crimes attorneys, include:

  • You transported methamphetamine but did not intend to sell it;
  • You only sold, transported or gave away the meth because you were coerced into doing so by an undercover police officer (the legal defense of entrapment), or
  • You didn't intend to sell methamphetamine--your intentions were simply misunderstood.

4. What is the penalty for selling meth in California?

Selling, transporting, giving away or administering methamphetamine under Health and Safety Code 11379 HS carries felony penalties in California.

HS 11379 methamphetamine trafficking is a felony and is not eligible for drug diversion.

The basic consequences of a meth sales conviction are:

  • two (2), three (3), or four (4) years in jail, and/or
  • a maximum $10,000 fine.8

If, however, you are convicted of transporting meth across two or more county lines (with intent to sell it), the possible jail sentence increases to three (3), six (6), or nine (9) years.9

People who are convicted of simple possession offenses in California—such as HS 11377 simple possession of methamphetamine—are eligible for “drug diversion.” "Drug diversion" is an alternative sentencing option--potentially available under Penal Code 1000 PC or Proposition 36--that allows a drug abuser to receive drug treatment in lieu of a jail or prison sentence.

Unfortunately, drug diversion is not available to people convicted of methamphetamine sales or transportation under 11379 HS. However, a skilled drug crimes defense attorney may be able to get your charges reduced to an offense that will be eligible for drug treatment/diversion.

There are also several sentencing enhancements that could increase your potential jail sentence for a meth trafficking conviction under HS 11379. These are:

Methamphetamine sales near drug treatment centers or homeless shelters

You face an additional one (1) year in jail if you violate HS 11379 upon the grounds of, or within 1,000 feet of, any of the following:

  • a drug treatment center,
  • a "detox" facility, or
  • a homeless shelter.10

More than one kilo of meth

If the weight of the meth you sold or transported exceeded one kilogram, you face an additional three to fifteen years in prison.11

Using a minor to help sell methamphetamine

Meth dealer in school yard
Methamphetamine sales to a minor carries a longer jail sentence than ordinary HS 11379.

Finally, if a minor helps you sell meth or is the buyer, you face an additional three, six or nine-year prison sentence.12 For purposes of California's methamphetamine laws, a minor is anyone under 18.

In one of these scenarios, you may also face additional charges under Penal Code 272 PC, California's contributing to the delinquency of a minor law.

4.1. What are the immigration consequences of an HS 11379 methamphetamine trafficking conviction?

All controlled substances offenses are “deportable crimes” under United States immigration law.13

This means that, if you are a legal immigrant or legal alien, a conviction for selling or transporting methamphetamine under HS 11379 could lead to deportation.

And because even less serious drug offenses are deportable crimes, you and your methamphetamine defense attorney may want to be careful about accepting plea bargain offers from meth trafficking charges.

5. HS 11379 sale/transport of methamphetamines and related offenses

Some of the most commonly charged related offenses to methamphetamine trafficking include:

Health and Safety Code 11377 – personal possession of methamphetamines

If you possess methamphetamines solely for personal use, you may violate California Health and Safety Code 11377 HS, California's law against personal possession of methamphetamines. HS 11377 applies to the same drugs as HS 11379 (including not just meth but also ketamine, GHB, etc.).

Personal possession of methamphetamines is a misdemeanor and a less serious offense than HS 11379.

Possession of meth under HS 11377 is a misdemeanor. It can be punished by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Unlike sale or transportation of methamphetamine, this offense is eligible for drug diversion in lieu of jail time.

Health and Safety Code 11378 – possession of meth for sale

California Health and Safety Code 11378 HS (possession of meth for sale) makes it illegal to possess methamphetamines if you intend to sell them. Unlike HS 11379, no actual or attempted sale or transportation of the drugs is required.

Health and Safety Code 11378 carries a potential penalty of 16 months or two or three years in county jail. You may also—or instead—be fined up to $10,000.

As with sale/transportation of meth, if you are convicted of possessing meth for sale, you are not eligible for drug diversion instead of jail time. 

Health and Safety Code 11352 – transporting or selling controlled substances

Health and Safety Code 11352 HS, California's law against transporting or selling controlled substances, is very similar to HS 11379 transporting or selling methamphetamines.

The difference is that the former applies to a different set of controlled substances, including such common drugs as cocaine, heroin and prescription painkillers.

And HS 11352 drug trafficking is considered more serious than HS 11379 methamphetamine trafficking.

As a result, the base penalties for HS 11352 are harsher and include three, four or five years in jail (increased to three, six or nine years for transporting drugs across more than one county line).

Vehicle Code 23152(e) – driving under the influence of methamphetamines

If you are caught driving under the influence of meth (or any other drug), prosecutors could charge you with Vehicle Code 23152(e) VC driving under the influence of drugs ("DUID").

DUI of methamphetamines is charged under Vehicle Code 23152(e) VC.

It is not unheard of for people facing methamphetamine trafficking charges to also be charged with driving under the influence of meth. A typical "first offense" for DUI drugs subjects you to

  • up to one-year in a county jail,
  • a maximum $390 fine before penalty assessments,
  • a court-imposed driver's license restriction for a minimum of six months, and
  • a minimum three-month drug education class.

Health and Safety Code 11550 – being under the influence of methamphetamine

Health and Safety Code 11550 HS is California's "under the influence of a controlled substance" law.

The drugs addressed in this law include common controlled narcotics and hallucinogens, including methamphetamines.

A conviction for being under the influence of methamphetamine, a misdemeanor, subjects you to up to one (1) year in county jail. However, eligible defendants may be able to participate in a drug diversion program instead.

In some cases, defendants charged with HS 11379 sale or transportation of methamphetamine are able to negotiate a plea bargain to this offense.

Health and Safety Code 11379.6 – manufacturing a controlled substance

Health & Safety Code 11379.6 HS (manufacturing a controlled substance) makes it a felony to manufacture, compound, produce, derive or process an illegal controlled substance.

Methamphetamine is one of the few major street drugs derived from local ingredients and "cooked" in underground meth labs. Thus, a good share of the prosecutions under HS 11379.6 tend to be for manufacturing meth. And this offense is commonly charged along with HS 11379 sale or transportation of methamphetamine.

Meth lab workers in hazmat suits
"Meth lab" charges are typically brought under HS 11379.6

A conviction for manufacturing methamphetamines or other drugs subjects you to:

  • three, five, or seven years in jail, and/or
  • a fine of up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

The sentence can be much longer if:

  • large quantities are being produced,
  • children are involved or nearby,
  • someone is injured or killed, or
  • you have a prior drug conviction.

Health and Safety Code 11383.5 HS – possession of materials for manufacturing methamphetamine

You should also be aware that possession of materials for manufacturing methamphetamine is a felony under Health & Safety Code 11383.5 HS. You can be convicted of this crime if you possess certain chemicals or combinations of chemicals with the intent to use them to cook meth.

Possession of materials for the manufacture of methamphetamine carries a jail sentence of two (2), four (4) or six (6) years. HS 11383.5 is frequently charged along with sale or attempted sale of methamphetamines under Health & Safety Code 11379 HS.

Call us for help...


If you or a loved one is charged with selling methamphetamines or other drugs under California Health & Safety Code 11379 HS, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone.

We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys are available to answer any questions about Nevada possession of methamphetamine laws.  For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.

¿Habla español? Visite nuestro sitio Web en español sobre el delito de vender metanfetamina de California.

Legal References:

  1. Health & Safety Code 11379 HS – Sale/transportation of methamphetamines and other drugs. (“(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) and in Article 7 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any controlled substance which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V and which is not a narcotic drug, except subdivision (g) of Section 11056, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054, except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), (20), (21), (22), and (23) of subdivision (d), (3) specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4) specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d) or (e), except paragraph (3) of subdivision (e), or specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), of Section 11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of two, three, or four years. (b) Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of subdivision (a), any person who transports any controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) within this state from one county to another noncontiguous county shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, six, or nine years. (c) For purposes of this section, “transports” means to transport for sale.”)
  2. Same.
  3. Same.
  4. Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) 2300 -- Sale, Transportation for Sale, etc., of Controlled Substance (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11352, 11379).
  5. Same.
  6. Same.
  7. Same.
  8. Health & Safety Code 11379 HS – Sale/transportation of methamphetamines and other drugs, endnote 1 above. See also Penal Code 672 PC – Fines for felonies including HS 11379 meth sales/transport.
  9. Same.
  10. Health and Safety Code 11380.7 HS – Sentence enhancement for meth sales in certain locations. (“(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who is convicted of trafficking in heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, methamphetamine, or phencyclidine (PCP), or of a conspiracy to commit trafficking in heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, methamphetamine, or phencyclidine (PCP), in addition to the punishment imposed for the conviction, shall be imprisoned pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for an additional one year if the violation occurred upon the grounds of, or within 1,000 feet of, a drug treatment center, detoxification facility, or homeless shelter.”)
  11. Health and Safety Code 11370.4 HS – Sentence enhancement for bulk sales of methamphetamine. (“(b) Any person convicted of a violation of, or of conspiracy to violate, Section 11378, 11378.5, 11379, or 11379.5 with respect to a substance containing methamphetamine, amphetamine, phencyclidine (PCP) and its analogs shall receive an additional term as follows: (1) Where the substance exceeds one kilogram by weight, or 30 liters by liquid volume, the person shall receive an additional term of three years. (2) Where the substance exceeds four kilograms by weight, or 100 liters by liquid volume, the person shall receive an additional term of five years. (3) Where the substance exceeds 10 kilograms by weight, or 200 liters by liquid volume, the person shall receive an additional term of 10 years. (4) Where the substance exceeds 20 kilograms by weight, or 400 liters by liquid volume, the person shall receive an additional term of 15 years.”)
  12. Health and Safety Code 11353 HS – Methamphetamine or other drug trafficking with the help of or to a minor. (“Every person 18 years of age or over, (a) who in any voluntary manner solicits, induces, encourages, or intimidates any minor with the intent that the minor shall violate any provision of this chapter or Section 11550 with respect to either (1) a controlled substance which is specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, (b) who hires, employs, or uses a minor to unlawfully transport, carry, sell, give away, prepare for sale, or peddle any such controlled substance, or (c) who unlawfully sells, furnishes, administers, gives, or offers to sell, furnish, administer, or give, any such controlled substance to a minor, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, six, or nine years.”)
  13. 8 United States Code 1227.

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