As the media and entertainment industry portrays, drug crimes are serious offenses. Thus, they are met with severe penalties, especially when it comes to certain acts involving controlled substances. Facing drug charges should be treated seriously and met with an aggressive defense regardless of the severity of the charge.
Drug trafficking and distribution is not just a crime faced by major drug lords and the cartel. Anyone could be charged with this crime, whether they are presumed to be working alone or in an organized crime syndicate.
Drug trafficking or distribution charges occur when there is the selling, transportation or illegal importation of unlawful controlled substances. This typically includes marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and other illegal drugs. These charges also apply to the illegal distribution of prescription medications, which commonly include sleeping pills, pain pills, hydrocodone products and opiates.
It should be noted that drug trafficking is not the same as drug possession. It includes an overt act that goes beyond just simply being in possession of an illegal drug. To begin, it is often considered a federal crime and is a felony charge, which means it is met with harsh penalties and prison time. In order for federal laws to apply, an individual must be caught trafficking a controlled substance across state lines. If it remains entirely within a state, then state paw will apply.
The penalties associated with the charge are dependent on various factors. This includes the type of drug involved, the quantity of the drug, the geographic area of the distribution and whether children were targeted. Depending on these factors, the accused could be faced with a wide range of sentences that could be as little as 3 years in prison to life in prison.
Because the penalties associated with drug trafficking are serious and harsh, any one faced with such allegations should treat them as such. These charges are often complex, which means that a defense strategy should be prepared to deal with the many working parts of these charges. Whether the charges are reduced, sentenced reduced or the charges dismissed, an aggressive criminal defense is the accused best chance of clearing his or her name and avoiding harsh penalties.