It is estimated that every year, more than 40,000 new laws are implemented somewhere in the United States. Of course, no one knows exactly how many laws there are that we must abide by but suffice it to say that there is a law for everything. Most of the offenses listed as illegal are not the kind that will keep you up at night wondering if you will be able to comply but there are a few that can drastically impact our lives if found guilty. Many of those laws have to do with drugs in some form or fashion. According to The Criminal Defense Lawyer,
Drug trafficking is a crime of weight and measurement. If you are found with a specified amount of any illegal drug you can be convicted of drug trafficking. This is true even if you didn’t manufacture, buy, sell, or transport those drugs.
If you’ve been arrested on drug trafficking charges, you are facing a serious federal offense. Here are a few things that you can expect to happen if you’re found guilty of these charges.
When you have been convicted on trafficking charges you are facing some of the most severe penalties possible. You may have one of these penalties imposed or all of them.
Prison: While every state is different, drug trafficking is likely to find even first time offenders facing a long prison sentence. The length of the term will usually depend on several factors including the type of drug and how much you had in your possession at the time of your arrest. Still, it is not uncommon for those who have been convicted to see prison terms of 10 years or longer. These numbers can go up with each successive conviction, so the law tends to be more lenient on first time offenders but with each additional offense expect the term to be lengthier.
Fines: You can also reasonably expect to be hit with some considerable fines. Depending on which state you are convicted in the fines can range anywhere from $25,000 to more than $100,000. This amount can be even more devastating if you are convicted in federal court. Some federal drug trafficking convictions have imposed fines exceeding $10,000,000.
Probation: There are occasions when you may be able to get probation but these are usually limited to plea bargaining cases where you have pleaded guilty to a less serious charge. The court may stipulate some very specific conditions that must be met when granted probation and if any of these conditions are violated your probationary period could be revoked landing you behind bars anyway. Some conditions imposed by the court could be random drug testing, leaving the state, and no violation of any other laws for the duration of the probationary period. These conditions could be a requirement that could last for a number of years.
Most drug trafficking laws will come with a mandatory minimum sentence. Suffice it to say, that those convicted of drug trafficking laws will face a very severe impact on their lives. Once you’ve been convicted of a drug trafficking charge even though the penalties may have a time limit some of its impact will follow you for the remainder of your life. As explained by Drug Crime Lawyers Grabel and Associates,
A drug conviction… can negatively impact many areas of your life. Potential employers, landlords and others frequently perform background checks, they have access to your criminal records. This essentially means that you may lose employment opportunities, student aid, or the privilege to choose where you want to live, among other things.
When convicted of a drug trafficking charge you need to think about far more than the penalties that the government will impose upon you. You are faced with serious consequences that could change the course of the rest of your life.