Cheronis & Parente LLC

Criminal Defense Blog

ON BEHALF OF CHERONIS & PARENTE LLC   /   September 3, 2014

Drug trafficking definition and penalties

When many Illinois residents think of drug trafficking, they may think of the huge cartels with violent criminals transporting drugs to various states and countries. While that is a form of drug trafficking, most cases happen on a much smaller scale. Trafficking refers to any sale or import of drugs – even prescription drugs.

The distribution of illegal drugs is a crime — a felony, to be exact. It’s a much more serious situation than simple possession. Even a person selling a small baggie of marijuana to another person can face drug trafficking charges. If a person is in possession of a large amount of drugs, cash and paraphernalia, then it could be assumed that he or she is selling the drug. Police will look for these types of evidence at the time of an arrest.

The penalties a person can face depend on several factors. The biggest factors are the type of drug and the amount. This means that someone distributing a kilo of cocaine will receive a much harsher sentence that a person who sells a couple baggies of marijuana. Cocaine and heroin are hard drugs, while marijuana is considered to be a relatively harmless drug. Other considerations are the geographic area and whether children were involved. Those who focus on selling drugs to young children will face serious penalties.

State and federal laws must also be taken into consideration. Many states have minimum sentencing laws. Those convicted of drug distribution can face several years to life in prison. In addition, fines may be levied. In Illinois, these amounts can range from $75,000 to $1 million. Therefore, in order to have a chance to avoid such penalties, a solid defense is needed.

Source: FindLaw, “Drug Trafficking/Distribution” Aug. 30, 2014

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