Drug trafficking is the same as drug dealing. The law considers them to be separate. Drug trafficking includes the transport, manufacturing, distribution, and selling of illegal drugs. The context matters a lot when you are considering drug trafficking. Two factors that influence the charges include the measurement of the drugs and the weight. There is a trafficking amount that is determined by the law. One will be guilty of drug trafficking if they are found in possession of an amount that exceeds the threshold. One can also be charged with drug trafficking if they are found with any amount of an illegal drug. This applies even if that person was not transporting or selling those drugs.
The minimum prison term for a drug trafficking offense is one year. This applies even if the defendant is a first-time offender. The prison sentence for drug trafficking is ten years or more in most cases. This is the lower limit considering that some states have higher penalties for the offense. It is not uncommon for one to receive a life sentence in more serious cases.
Drug trafficking laws impose mandatory minimum sentences that state the number of years that one must serve before they become eligible for parole. The period varies with each state. One cannot be paroled until that time is up.
The government set very high fines for anyone charged with any drug-related offense in a bid to discourage people from engaging in drugs. Fines usually range from $25,000 to $100,000 if it is a state trafficking conviction. They can go as high as ten million dollars if it is a federal trafficking conviction.
One is liable to get a probation sentence if they agree to a plea bargain. This is if they agree to plead guilty to a charge that is less-serious. These sentences last for at least a year. Most of them go for three years or more. The felon has to satisfy certain conditions that are set by the court during the probation period. This includes not breaking any other laws and monitoring by a probation officer. One has to agree to random drug tests to make sure that they do not go back to their old ways.
Drug trafficking crimes are very serious. The charges and conviction could seriously alter the course of one’s life. One should make sure that they consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as they are charged with the crime. It is advisable not to speak to the police or make any decisions regarding the case without consulting your lawyer first.
The police need to obtain a search warrant before conducting a search on you or your property. This is valid even if the accused was found to be in possession of drugs. This is because you will have shown that you were unlawfully searched. You can have the charges reduced if a warrant was not obtained. They can also be dropped if there is a strong case that the evidence was planted. The police might have failed to get a warrant and then proceeded to incriminate the defendant through false accusation.
Wrong Place at the Wrong time
Finding yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time could lead to a drug trafficking conviction. The police might assume that you were involved if you happen to be in an area where drug peddling is taking place. You have to show that you do not have any relation to any of the other parties involved in this type of defense. You can ask someone to testify as a witness if you were going to meet them. This defense is not hard to show because the evidence can be sourced easily.
No intent to traffic drugs
The defendant has to prove that a third party had forced them to engage in the activity. There has to be a threat of bodily injury in the case that the accused does not agree to do so. The defendant has to provide evidence that backs up this claim because it is a very serious one. It means that one will have to give up the name of the person who supplied them with the drugs most of the times. Drug smugglers usually threaten people so that they can transport illegal drugs for them. The accused has to show that they are an innocent party forced to do this because they did not have a choice.
The defendant can discredit the circumstances that led to the eventual search by law enforcement. Drug trafficking charges can be dismissed if the constitutional rights of the defendant were violated in any way.
The first mode of defense is determining the reason why the police conducted the search in the first place. The cause should be valid enough and be reasonable. The charges can either be reduced or dropped if the cause is not established or backed by enough evidence.