You don’t necessarily need to be “trafficking” any illegal narcotics to be accused of the crime. It often takes merely possessing a certain quantity. Established in the 1980s, the laws for drug trafficking are tied to significant penalties.
Under these federal statutes, the term in question has a different meaning to its common usage. Drug trafficking involves creating, distributing or possessing with the intent to dispense any amount of a prohibited substance. Put simply, the law can apply to scenarios that other people may consider to be possession.
How Much is Too Much?
The federal sentencing guidelines deem an offense to be trafficking when you’re caught with more than a specific amount (or weight) of any drug. Of course, the minimum varies depending on the substance. Here are some examples:
- 1 gram of LSD
- 5 grams of crack cocaine
- 100 grams of heroine
- 200 grams of marijuana
- 500 grams of powdered cocaine
Trafficking charges are more serious than other drug charges and will increase in severity with higher quantities. It’s not unusual for a defendant to face an initial or standard bond ranging from $250,000 to $750,000 for the charge. The involvement of a firearm can further increase the penalty.
What are the Penalties?
The specifics of your penalty can vary greatly depending on the nature of the charge and state laws. For instance, you can legally purchase marijuana in Colorado, take it with you to another state and face a trafficking charge because it’s illegal there. This can result in anything from one to 20 years in prison, along with a hefty fine.
Ensuring Your Freedom
So, what can you do if you’re accused of drug trafficking? It’s always wise to enlist the help of a reputable criminal defense lawyer immediately. They will assist in reaching the best possible outcome for your case. Head over to the following link for a list of reasons to get a criminal defense attorney: https://www.kohlerandhart.com/.
Keep in mind that there are numerous things that may happen before you can speak to a lawyer. This includes:
- Getting Searched:
If you are stopped and authorities suspect that you have drugs in your possession, they can search you, provided that you consent to the search and the police have a warrant. There also needs to be probable cause to believe that the crime has been committed.
Similarly, authorities can only put you in handcuffs if you were witnessed committing the drug trafficking crime or if there was probable cause.
- Miranda Rights:
In the event that you are arrested, the police officer should read your Miranda rights. Whether or not they do, you should politely inform the officer that you’re maintaining your right to remain silent. Make sure to also invoke your right to an attorney. Say as little as possible throughout the ordeal until your lawyer is by your side.
From here, you should have the chance to post bail. Then, the criminal defense attorney can work on your case and help you avoid being charged.