Drug distribution, which is also referred to by some as drug trafficking, is a serious crime that can alter your life in many ways.
As the name implies, drug distribution penalizes the selling and transportation of controlled substances, including but not limited to cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and prescription drugs.
There are many types of drug crimes, some of which are more serious than others with respect to how they are penalized. Drug distribution is among the most serious, with the punishment depending on a variety of factors:
- The type or types of drugs being distributed
- The amount of drugs
- The area of distribution (within a single state, across state lines, importing from another country, etc.)
- The impact the crime had on others, such as if children were involved or targeted
A prison sentence for drug distribution can range anywhere from three years to life.
When compared to drug possession, drug distribution is a much more serious crime. This is a felony, which means that the punishment, if convicted, is more severe.
Note: Just because you are found with drugs in your possession does not mean you should be charged with both possession and distribution.
While not always the case, if police find a person with a large amount of drugs, they assume that you have the intention of distributing the substance, as opposed to consuming it all yourself.
Furthermore, if cash is found alongside the drugs, the authorities also assume that drugs have already been sold.
Making drug distribution cases even more confusing is the fact that both state and federal laws can play a role. In addition to the federal laws that pertain to the country in general, each state has its own set of laws along with minimum sentencing guidelines.
As you can see, there is a lot to understand with respect to the crime of drug distribution.
In some cases, a person is charged with distribution when he or she had no intention of actually selling the drugs. To go along with this, there are serious laws in place to crack down on major drug operations. However, low level dealers often find that they are the ones getting in the most trouble.
Due to the gray area associated with drug distribution charges, it's important to know exactly what you've been charged with and the defense strategy you can use to avoid the most serious punishment.