Drug trafficking penalties are more serious than possession

The illegal drug trade in the United States involves hundreds of billions of dollars and touches people from all walks of life. Drugs available on the streets seem to be more powerful than ever before, and potent prescription drugs are blamed for the addictions and overdoses of thousands each year. With these factors in mind, it may not be difficult to understand why many law enforcement agents and lawmakers are passionate about taking whatever steps they can to eliminate the illegal distribution of controlled substances.

These steps include making laws that involve stiff penalties for convictions of drug crimes and forming zealous task forces to track down those involved in the manufacturing, transporting or selling of illegal drugs. If you are facing charges of trafficking drugs, you may already know that your future is uncertain and your freedom may be on the line.

What am I up against?

Law enforcement agents do not have to witness you selling or distributing drugs to arrest you for trafficking. If they claim you were in possession of a large quantity of a controlled substance, more than is reasonable for personal use, or if police have reason to believe you intended to sell the drugs, you may be facing far more serious charges than possession.

Trafficking involves the assumption that someone in possession of a large quantity of a controlled substance intends to distribute it. If a court convicts you, the amount of drugs in your possession is only one detail that will determine your sentence. Other factors that may increase the severity of your sentence include the following:

  • Schedule I drugs, the most addictive and dangerous, may garner a harsher sentence upon conviction than other substances.
  • If elements of the crime crossed state or international lines, federal mandatory penalties may apply.
  • Drug trafficking targets involving children can result in significantly longer prison sentences for a conviction.
  • Trafficking prescription drugs may also involve fraud or other federal charges.
  • The involvement of weapons may result in penalty enhancements or additional charges.

Drug trafficking is often a federal crime, which means your case will likely go through the federal court system instead of a state or local one. Depending on the factors listed above, you may be facing decades or longer behind bars. If you are facing charges of trafficking or distribution, you would be wise to seek the counsel of a dedicated Texas attorney before answering any questions from investigators.