5 Common Defenses to Avoid Drug Trafficking Convictions
One of the inherent risks of using illegal drugs is that it’s relatively common to be charged with drug trafficking along with possessing or manufacturing a banned substance. Drug trafficking charges can be filed if it can be shown that a suspect participated in a drug network. The available state and federal penalties for a drug trafficking conviction are pretty harsh. The implementation of an aggressive defense strategy will be required to avoid a prison sentence and large fines.
The delivery, sale or importation of illegal drugs like cocaine or marijuana could result in drug trafficking charges being filed by a state or federal prosecutor. Among the most common drugs that have been banned for use or distribution are methamphetamine, opiates, oxycontin, hydrocodone and heroin. Even if the drugs were intended for personal use, the type, amount or weight of the drugs involved may lead police to believe that you’re a drug trafficker.
Certain drug charges are worse than others because the law mandates a minimum sentence. The judge is prevented from handing down a lighter sentence that accurately reflects the available evidence. A criminal defendant might be sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking even though it’s clear that the drugs involved in the case were intended for personal use. The only trafficking defendants that are likely to get a break are juvenile offenders.
Drug Trafficking Defenses
Involvement in a drug network, including possession or distribution, may constitute drug trafficking under the law. Participating in the illegal drug trade in any way is punishable by fines, incarceration or both. Serious criminal offenses like drug smuggling are regularly prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
An aggressive drug trafficking defense strategy will ensure that the legal authorities had probable cause to arrest you or a family member. If the police violated your constitutional rights by conducting an illegal search or seizure, the criminal charges could be reduced or dismissed.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding a drug trafficking case, one of the following common defense strategies may be employed:
- The police did not have probable cause to conduct a search
- The defendant was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time
- The police did not obtain a warrant prior to conducting a search
- There was no intent on the part of the defendant to traffic drugs
- The defendant was unaware of trafficking activities
Drug trafficking cases are sometimes difficult to untangle. Drug smugglers even use innocent parties to transport illegal drugs. A thorough investigation of the evidence and the actions of law enforcement officials will be necessary to fight a drug trafficking charge. Mounting an effective defense is the best way to avoid the severe consequences of a drug trafficking conviction.