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Understanding the Penalties for Drug Trafficking Laws

Drug trafficking is a serious offense that can come with harsh penalties. Understanding what this federal and state charge is can help any accused person clear their name to avoid jail time and fines. 

What is Drug Trafficking?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the definition of what you are being charged with. Drug trafficking is the illegal transportation or transaction of a controlled substance as listed under federal law. It is illegal for a person to knowingly or intentional manufacturer, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to do all the former items. 

What Is the Punishment or Penalty for Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking comes with some extremely serious punishments. The specific jail time or fines will depend on the drug being trafficked, along with whether this is an individual’s first offense. However, here are some examples of punishments for drug trafficking from the DEA: 

  • Cocaine (Schedule II), Heroin (Schedule I), LSD (Schedule I): For a first offense with a minimum 500-gram, 100-gram, or 1-gram mixture, respectively, jail time will be no less than five years and no more than 40 years with a fine of no more than $5 million. If death or serious injury occurred, jail time would be no less than 20 years and a fine of no more than $25 million. 
  • Marijuana (Schedule I): For a first offense and amount of at least 1,000kg, there will be no less than ten years of jail time and no more than life. No less than 20 years of jail time would be permitted if injury or death occurred. Fines will be less than $10 million and $50 million, respectively.

As evident, the fines and punishments for drug trafficking are quite serious. If you find yourself accused of drug trafficking, follow the below three steps immediately. 

3 Steps to Take If You’re Accused of Trafficking Drugs

Do not speak without a lawyer present

You can help secure your future with experienced legal representation specializing in drug trafficking charges. If you find yourself charged with these crimes, reach out to a board-certified attorney in your area to discuss legal options and start the process of gathering evidence to clear your name.

Do not tamper with or destroy any potential evidence

Regardless of guilt or innocence, under no circumstances should you attempt to destroy or tamper with evidence that you think would harm a case. This can simply provide additional charges against you. 

Do not consent to DNA or other testing without your lawyer

Do not accept anything from the authorities, and do not consent to any form of testing without your lawyer present to ensure the books conduct everything. 

Avoid false allegations with the help of a defense lawyer

The last thing anybody wants is to be falsely accused of a crime or charged with a crime unrelated to what occurred. This is why reaching out to a qualified drug trafficking attorney in your area is so crucial. Receive legal support to clear your name and reduce any potential punishments or penalties you may be facing. 

Featured Image by Paolo Ghedini from Pixabay