Due to the seriousness of this type of felony, it doesn’t take much to bump a minor possession charge up to severe trafficking offenses, especially where children are involved. Additional factors influencing punishment include the type, drug quantity, and geographic area of distribution.
Proving the Sale, Transportation, Possession, or Importation of Controlled Substances
The first thing to prove if arrested with drugs is whether the amount in your possession exceeded the threshold of each controlled substance in the trafficking statutes. You can be charged with the illegal possession, sale, and delivery of drugs if they exceed the following amounts:
- Cocaine: 28g or more
- Marijuana: over 10 pounds
- Synthetic cannabinoid: 3g or more
- Opiates or heroin: above 4g
- Methamphetamine (meth/crystal meth): 28g
- MDMA (ecstasy or molly): more than 28g or over 100 dosage units
In case you’ve been caught and charged with drugs, you need to consult an Asheville drug trafficking lawyer to give you the best chance possible in your trial. If convicted of drug trafficking in North Carolina, penalties may call for a lengthy mandatory prison sentence.
Serious crimes like drug trafficking involve an extensive collection of evidence from the police to prove you knowingly possessed copious amounts of controlled substances. Whether at fault or not, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will go to bat for you. They’ll find out if your constitutional rights were violated and find holes in the prosecution’s claims to present the best possible defense.
Potential Drug Trafficking Defenses in North Carolina
It’s of utmost importance that you retain an expert criminal defense lawyer if you’re facing drug trafficking charges. Note that drug trafficking in North Carolina is not penalized using the state’s sentencing guidelines. Instead, if you’re convicted of distributing illegal drugs, you must serve an active prison term regardless of your past criminal record. In addition to the minimum mandatory sentence of imprisonment, you must also pay fines depending on the drugs found in your possession. Only a skilled drug trafficking lawyer can raise the following defenses and potentially get you positive outcomes.
- Challenge search and seizure violations: If the alleged drugs were unconstitutionally obtained and violated the 4th Amendment, your lawyer could raise a motion to exclude such evidence.
- Support a defense of entrapment: Your lawyer can deploy this defense if the police used a reverse sting operation to catch you selling drugs to an undercover officer. This gives rise to an entrapment defense.
- Raise wiretap issues: Your case may be dismissed if the evidence against you was obtained through wiretapping and law enforcement failed to comply with strict wiretap warrant requirements.
- Attacking witness credibility: When it comes to the intent of the alleged crime, not all witness testimony is reliable. Your lawyer can establish bias motivation or show a witness’s prior and inconsistent statements.
- Challenging the intent to sell: The evidence obtained by law enforcement, like scales, baggies, cash, and drugs, proves intent to distribute. However, it’s possible to argue for a lesser drug possession charge instead of a harsher trafficking offense.
- Constitutional violations: Your drug trafficking attorney can challenge Miranda Rights violations such as due process and rights to counsel violations.
Given the negative impact of drugs on the US economy, the federal government is often overzealous when prosecuting drug trafficking cases. Should you decide to proceed to trial, it’s in your best interest to retain a criminal defense counsel. While the prosecutor tries to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you committed the crime, your lawyer will fight for the justice the government doesn’t always provide.
How Can an Asheville Drug Trafficking Lawyer Help?
Having a drug trafficking charge and consequent conviction hanging over your head can alter the course of your life. A drug conviction also makes you susceptible to additional penalties linked to international operations. With it comes possible immigration consequences and deportation, including the seizure of assets related to the drug trafficking business. When property, bank accounts, businesses, or cars are confiscated in connection to a drug trafficking charge, you may go through a criminal forfeiture proceeding.
Don’t attempt to represent yourself, no matter how strongly you believe your case to be non-consequential. Charges can add up pretty fast. In fact, the nature of a drug trafficking operation naturally gives rise to additional charges such as felony gun possession, money laundering, and drug manufacturing. Whether it’s a drug trafficking charge or a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, you’ll need a criminal defense attorney to represent you at every stage of your alleged case.
Hire a Seasoned Asheville Drug Trafficking Lawyer at King Law to Represent You
The most serious drug trafficking offenses are classified as first-degree felonies, potentially punishable by life imprisonment. Such a crime also comes with a mandatory fine determined by the quantity range applicable to the weight of the illegal drugs involved in the trafficking. For instance, you can be fined over $100,000 if you’re involved in marijuana trafficking. You need the legal team at King Law to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf.
Additionally, offenders in a drug trafficking case may not be released on a bail bond until after their first advisory court date or appearance hearing. As criminal defense lawyers, we have years of experience negotiating favorable bond amounts and pretrial release provisions for our clients. If you’ve been arrested for a federal or state drug trafficking offense, our team of drug trafficking lawyers can help. Call our offices at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING, or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a comprehensive consultation today.