How Much Drugs Can Lead To Facing Drug Trafficking Penalties?

A drug trafficking offense covers possession of the drug itself. This offense could include behavior like the possession, manufacture, sale, purchase, or delivery of illegal or controlled substances. Most importantly, if you got involved with the illegal trade, import, or transport of a drug, or you may have the intent to deliver it, you are at risk of facing drug trafficking penalties.

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The possession with intent of doing illegal activities with the drugs can lead to serious drug trafficking penalties. Additionally, while many of us may immediately consider illegal drugs once they hear the term “drug trafficking,” the charge isn’t limited to the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. It also can apply to the illegal sale and distribution of prescribed drugs, like pain killers, opioids, and hydrocodone products.

Trafficking is usually considered to be one of the most serious drug offenses, more so than drug possession. It always leads to felony charges rather than misdemeanors. If you reside during a jurisdiction where felonies are categorized by degree, trafficking charges may result in degree felony charges.

How Much Drugs Do I Want to Hold to Be Guilty of Trafficking?

In many cases, drug traffic may depend upon the quantity of the drug involved and the kinds of the drug involved. While one or two grams of a substance could end in an easy possession charge, 50 grams could have you face a trafficking charge. The conviction of having 10-kilogram marijuana versus a 10 kilogram of heroin results in varying levels of punishment.

You might be charged with drug trafficking if the law enforcement officers believe that you are intending in illegally trading drugs. The circumstances of your arrest can be taken under consideration of the charges filed against you. The presence of a scale, plastic baggies, or an outsized amount of money at the time of arrest could also be considered evidence of intent to sell or distribute, which could lead to a drug traffic charge.

Proving the Drug Charge

The drug trafficking crime is often relevant to drug possession as both cases need the person to have knowledge of the substance at hand. This means that a person has no ability to engage in drug trafficking if he or she is unaware that there are drugs involved. It can also be noted that the person might have thought that the drug is legal. The prosecution must prove the transport, sale, or import of the drugs, as well as the intent to deliver the drugs. These factors can elevate the case status to a felony. Drug trafficking penalties can be detrimental to anyone which is why a good defense attorney is needed. 

Since possession and trafficking can look similar at one glance, prosecution for drug trafficking charges typically requires producing additional indirect evidence to point that a defendant is in possession of drugs not just for personal use except for commercial purposes. This might include the presence of a scale at the time of arrest or other materials like plastic baggies or business cards. A prosecutor can also show that the defendant was in possession of an outsized amount of money, or kept business records detailing his or her sales and purchases. The officials might not believe the testimonies of other witnesses that may be involved in the trade of drugs with the defendant or were conscious about the drug trafficking operation. 

Penalties for Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is a serious offense and the challenges more harshly than drug possession. The offense is illegal in both federal and state laws. It is prosecuted under federal law if the defendant is moving across the state lines. 

Drug trafficking penalties and charges are often applied to small-scale street dealers or large drug cartels, and punishments will typically vary counting on the size of the defendant’s operation and the kind of drugs being trafficked. As an example, a defendant may face anywhere from three to 10 years of imprisonment and fines of over $100,000 for marijuana trafficking, but he or she may confront up to 25 years in prison and fines of half a million dollars if convicted of trafficking in heroin. The sentences could even be higher if there are certain factors that are referred to as enhancements are available. One example of an enhancement is selling drugs inside a school zone.

A conviction when it comes to drug trafficking makes the criminal vulnerable when it comes to additional punishments in the context of the operation. This includes the defendant to forfeit the assets that are associated with drug trafficking business such as cars, properties, or bank accounts. 

Seizure of assets is usually required if the defendant is sentenced to starting from one year in jail. Since drug trafficking can be a felony, it can make defendants have issues with immigration repercussions. It may include possible deportation when a jail sentence is served.


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