Drug Trafficking and the sales of narcotics has always been a highly contested topic of criminal law. The so called “war on drugs” has cost taxpayers countless dollars and has taken up a large part of the law enforcement resources both on a State and Federal level. For as long as people seek out drugs, the police will seek out those who sell them and initiate criminal prosecutions.
The type of prosecutions and the penalties for drug trafficking vary greatly on a case by case basis. That is why if you or someone close to you is facing drug trafficking charges, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal attorney who has experience handling drug trafficking cases.
Drug Trafficking Laws
Drug trafficking is defined as a transfer of possession of such a drug to another for cash or some other item or service of value. Usually, the drugs are being sold for money but a person can still be charged with drug trafficking if they exchanged a service or other goods for drugs.
How People Usually Get Caught for Drug Trafficking and Sales
A typical drug trafficking arrest will involve an undercover police officer posing as a buyer make a drug purchase from an individual. Usually the undercover officer will be made aware that a person is selling drugs by an informant or a “snitch”.
Another common scenario where a person is arrested for drug trafficking is if they are searched by the police and it's discovered that they had drugs packaged for sale. This can be having multiple baggies of drugs, scales, ledgers known as pay-owe sheets and messages on their phone regarding drug transactions.
Amount of Drugs Necessary to be Charged with Drug Trafficking and Sales
The amount of drugs a person is found with can vary and the police can arrest that person for sales. The law is that it must be a usable amount, which the police and prosecutors define very liberally when it comes to charging a person with drug sales and trafficking. The amount of drugs found will, however have an impact on the punishment for drug trafficking.
Punishment for Drug Trafficking
There are many factors to what type of punishment a person being charged with drug trafficking faces. Those include:
- Whether it is a State Case or a Federal case–Federal drug trafficking laws are a lot harsher that the laws of the State of California. There are mandatory minimums that require judges to sentence a drug trafficking Defendant to a certain amount of time in Federal Court. Sales of drugs in state cases can also lead to prison time however and are very serious.
- The amount of drugs a person is arrested with-In both state and Federal drug trafficking cases, the amount of drugs being allegedly sold has a direct correlation to the possible punishment a person is facing for drug sales.
- The person's previous record-As with all cases a person's criminal history will affect the maximum punishment in a drug sales prosecution.
- Other factors-There are many other factors that can play a part in what the maximum sentence would be in a drug trafficking case. For instance, having a gun along with the drugs or selling drugs to minors or near a school may increase the punishment. Likewise, there are factors that can lower the possible punishment for drug trafficking. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney with experience handling drug sales cases can properly advise you.
Los Angeles Drug Trafficking Attorney
If you or someone close to you is charged with either sales, transportation or manufacturing narcotics, your first call is to an experienced drug trafficking attorney. Every case is unique and has its own nuances and possible defenses.
At our firm, we have been handling drug sales and trafficking cases for well over two decades. For a free, no obligation consultation with an experienced Los Angeles drug trafficking attorney call today at 818 325-0570. You can also contact Vitaly Sigal directly by email here.