Due to the proximity to the city and the I-95 corridor, Delaware County is sometimes perceived as a center for drug trafficking. If you are accused of this offense, you need to take the charges seriously because the penalties can be extremely severe. Drug trafficking may be prosecuted under either state or federal law, and mandatory minimum sentences may apply.
Working with a skilled Delaware County drug trafficking lawyer can help protect your rights and your future. An experienced narcotics attorney who understands successful strategies for fighting drug trafficking charges could work to reach a positive outcome in your case.
The presence of controlled substances, including prescription drugs, can lead to illegal situations, but some are penalized much more severely than others. Simple possession with no intent to distribute to others is often treated as a misdemeanor. If there is evidence of manufacturing or distributing controlled substances, then the offense is usually treated as a felony.
Drug trafficking implies that activities are part of a large operation. The greater the quantity of a substance involved, the more severe the penalties. It is therefore wise to start working on a defense strategy with a knowledgeable Delaware County drug trafficking lawyer as soon as practicable.
Trafficking often involves transporting drugs across state lines. In those types of situations, the federal government may be more likely to get involved, and a comprehensive defense strategy becomes even more crucial.
State and federal laws treat drug offenses differently depending on the type of substances involved. Drugs commonly prescribed by physicians and that have a low potential for addiction and abuse are considered less of a cause for concern. Offenses involving these drugs may be penalized much less severely than those involving more addictive substances.
Most drugs are ranked according to their danger compared with their beneficial uses. The most dangerous are listed on Schedule I in state and federal listings, while the least dangerous are on Schedule V.
For instance, heroin, LSD and Ecstasy (MDMA) are Schedule I substances. Amphetamine and related substances are on Schedule II. The sedatives clonazepam and phenobarbital are Schedule IV substances because they have some potential for abuse and addiction, but those dangers are counter-balanced by the accepted medical uses. Some drugs may be placed on different schedules depending on the concentration involved. A skilled narcotics trafficking lawyer in Delaware County may be able to successfully argue that a substance in a situation is not as dangerous as originally charged and qualifies for different treatment.
Drug trafficking is generally penalized as a felony. However, the potential penalties vary depending on:
Besides prior convictions, the presence of minors or a weapon are factors that could aggravate the severity of a drug trafficking offense. Even the most minimal drug offenses may be penalized by more than a year in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. For serious offenses, prison terms may be as long as 15 years for state crimes with fines up to $250,000. Federal maximums are generally higher.
No matter what law enforcement officials imply, a charge is not the same thing as a conviction. Defense lawyers understand that there are numerous strategies that can be used successfully to reduce the severity of a charge or have charges dismissed entirely.
However, for the greatest chance of a successful defense, it is best to begin collecting evidence right away. Working with a Delaware County drug trafficking lawyer from the start also enables your attorney to advocate on your behalf to help protect your rights and avoid accidental self-incrimination. Call now to learn how a drug trafficking defense lawyer could help in your situation.