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The distribution and transportation of a controlled substance is a serious offense. There are state and federal laws that penalize anyone who is arrested for transporting, distributing, or selling any controlled substance.

The laws governing the sentencing of these offenses vary greatly depending on a few factors including:

  • Which drug?
  • The quantity of the drug
  • Were minors targeted in the selling of the drug?
  • Was the offender an individual or part of a group?
  • Location of transportation and/or distribution of drug

If you have been charged with the trafficking of an illegal or controlled substance, your best form of defense is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Only an attorney will know your rights and help you protect those rights.

Drug Trafficking Sentencing and Penalties

Drug laws and penalties vary from state, but typically, the minimum sentence for a drug trafficking or drug transportation charge is ten years in a federal prison. Drug trafficking is a very serious felony and anyone facing this charge may be sentenced to 20 years or more in a federal state prison. Repeat offenders may be sentenced to life in prison, and many states have laws called “Three Strikes and You’re Out,” which means on your third offense, you go away for a very, very long time. First-time offenders who do not have a prior criminal record may even face these harsh sentences. It all depends on your judge, your attorney and your behavior and cooperation during the legal process.

The penalties for drug trafficking are:

  • Time served in prison
  • Steep fines

The controlled substances that are illegal for distributing, selling, importing, and transporting include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Methamphetamine
  • Any drug classified as a “club drug” (e.g. ecstasy)

Drug trafficking and distribution are not limited to a global scale. Any offender of the drug laws does not have to be a part of a larger drug ring to be charged. An individual will be charged just as harshly as a member of an organized group of drug dealers. Some of the most common drug arrests are for:

  • Transporting or importing drugs across international borders
  • Carrying drugs on an airplane
  • Transporting drugs across state borders
  • Carrying drugs on a boat and sailing into federal waters
  • Selling and distributing drugs in several counties

The Controlled Substances Act

The Controlled Substances Act is a federal law that regulates the five classifications of controlled substances. This act regulates how a controlled substance is:

  • Imported
  • Distributed
  • Manufactured
  • Owned

This act provides the sentences and penalties that are appropriate for each classification of controlled substance. The penalties increase in severity each time an offender is charged and will usually double with a second offense.

If you are charged with drug trafficking, please contact the law offices of Jacoby & Meyers to schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled criminal defense attorney. We have offices throughout the U.S.