Is Trafficking Drugs Worse Than Possession of Drugs?

Yes, drug trafficking charges are a lot more serious than drug possession charges, and the penalties are much more worse.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

Is trafficking drugs considered worse, than possessing drugs?

Yes generally speaking trafficking drugs is seen as a offense compared to simple possession. The distinction between the two mainly lies in the characteristics and consequences of each crime:

1. Nature of the Offenses

Drug Trafficking: This involves the production, distribution or sale of substances. It typically suggests involvement in a network or supply chain that facilitates the movement and sale of controlled drugs on a scale. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, drug trafficking generates violent crimes.
Drug Possession: Refers to having drugs for use. It usually implies quantities. Lacks the element of distribution or sale.

2. Legal Consequences

For Drug Trafficking: Penalties are generally harsher due to the quantities involved and the potential for societal harm. This often leads to prison sentences, higher fines and additional charges with more severe implications.
For Drug Possession: Penalties tend to be less severe, for amounts and first time offenses. Some jurisdictions may even offer diversion programs, substance abuse treatment options or probation of incarceration.

3. Drug trafficking impact on society: Drug trafficking is considered harmful, to society because it leads to the availability and distribution of illegal substances often associated with other criminal activities like violence and organized crime. On the hand simple possession although illegal is often treated as a public health concern in cases involving addiction.

4. Federal vs. State drug trafficking prosecution: When it comes to prosecution, drug trafficking cases especially those that involve crossing state or international borders are more likely to be handled under law. Federal charges typically carry sentences compared to state law. On the hand possession charges are usually dealt with at the state level unless they involve quantities or other aggravating factors.

To sum up drug trafficking is generally seen as a offense than drug possession in terms of legal consequences and its broader impact on society. If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug offense, please contact a San Diego drug smuggling attorney to defend against 21 USC 952.

What To Do If You Were Charged with Drug Trafficking

If you find yourself facing drug trafficking charges it’s important to note that you can be charged even if you haven’t actually sold any drugs. Prosecutors will try to establish that you were in possession of a controlled substance, with the intention of selling or distributing it – regardless of whether you were planning on distributing it for free or using it among friends.
Drug trafficking offenses carry weight and entail harsher penalties compared to drug possession charges. The severity of the penalties you may face will depend on factors such, as the quantity and type of controlled substance involved.

In the event that you are charged with a drug related offense it is crucial to exercise your right to remain silent and promptly seek representation from the defense team at Just Criminal Law.

What Are the Consequences of Drug Possession?

Drug possession typically refers to being apprehended in possession of an amount of substances. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case you could be charged with either a first degree felony or misdemeanor.

However it’s important to note that even cases involving possession can still have implications if you have a prior history of violent convictions. In instances penalties can range from fines to potential incarceration varying based on the specific substance in question.

How to defend against drug trafficking charges

If you find yourself facing drug trafficking charges there are defense strategies that can be pursued.

  • Lack of Possession: One approach in combating drug trafficking allegations is demonstrating that you did not possess any drugs. To establish intent for possession with charges law enforcement must prove that you had access, to or control over the narcotics.
    However in the scenario where others also had access, to the drugs one could argue that the drugs were not yours. This defense strategy proves effective when you reside with roommates or if multiple individuals are present in a car where the drugs were found.
  • Lack of Intent to Distribute: Even if you possess drugs with knowledge it is possible to claim that you had no intention to sell or distribute them. If your attorney successfully dismisses drug trafficking charges you could face a charge of drug possession and potentially avoid imprisonment by participating in a drug rehabilitation program.
  • Suppression of Evidence: There is a chance to evade conviction if your legal representative can demonstrate that the evidence was obtained unlawfully. Acquired evidence holds no credibility in convicting you. If law enforcement failed to adhere to protocols and procedures such as lacking cause conducting an unlawful search or neglecting to inform you of your Miranda rights then such evidence may be excluded from trial. This exclusion could lead to a resolution, for your case.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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A person will face drug trafficking charges if arrested with 100 or more grams of heroin, 500 or more grams of powdered cocaine, 5 or more grams of crack cocaine, or 1 or more grams of LSD.

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To begin the process of dismissing a drug trafficking charge, it's crucial to consult with a seasoned drug crime attorney. Your lawyer can explore various defense strategies based on your case's specific details, including entrapment, lack of sufficient evidence, or violations of constitutional rights.

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Drug trafficking is considered a very serious offense and incurs stricter penalties compared to drug possession. This crime is illegal under both federal and state legislation, and typically, it is prosecuted at the federal level when the accused is involved in transporting drugs across state boundaries.

What is the minimum sentence for drug trafficking in the US?

For the first offense, the sentence ranges from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 40 years; however, if there is death or serious injury involved, the sentence increases to a minimum of 20 years, potentially extending to life imprisonment. The fine imposed can be up to $5 million for individuals or up to $25 million for entities other than individuals. For a second offense, the imprisonment term is at least 10 years and can extend to a life sentence.

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A person charged with 21 USC 952 for smuggling meth, cocaine, heroin, or marijuana may have have no prison time or up to life in prison, depending on the quantity of the illegal drug.

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