Drug trafficking is a felony offense that involves the selling, transportation or importation of illegal drugs. This is a crime that can be charged at either the state or federal level. The extent of the penalty for this offense can depend on several factors. These can include the type of drugs, where the drugs were sold and whether children, firearms and prior convictions were involved.
Penalties for a federal conviction
Drug trafficking is an offense that can fall under the heading of federal drug crimes. Possible penalties for a conviction at the federal level can include:
- 10 years to lif00 kilograms of marijuana or 5 kilograms of cocaine
- Up to 5 years for 50 kilograms of marijuana
- 5 to 40 years for 100 grams of heroin or 500 grams of cocaine
The amount of time spent in prison will increase with the amount of drugs that are seized. The penalty can be higher if you have prior convictions or if anyone was injured or killed at the time of the seizure.
Other penalties may apply
You may also receive a longer sentence if you get caught with a firearm or if you are considered to be the leader of the organization responsible for the trafficking. If you are caught with a concealed firearm, the sentence you serve will be consecutive. This means that you will serve your sentence for this violation after completing your time for your drug charges.
Drug trafficking is not the same as drug possession. If you are caught with a much smaller amount of illegal drugs, you will generally be charged with possession. The repercussions for possessions could still vary depending on the above-discussed factors.