Drug Trafficking Vs Drug Possession
Laws in just about every state are different regarding illegal drugs. However, one thing that just about all of them have in common is that drug trafficking is considered a more serious crime than mere drug possession and, as such, carries more serious consequences. Drug trafficking is generally defined as the production, distribution, and sale of illegal drugs including cocaine, LSD, PCP, heroin, and marijuana. On the other hand, drug possession refers to simply being caught while having illegal drugs. There is also another category, “possession with intent to sell” which means you weren't necessarily caught selling drugs but there may be a strong reason to believe you did intend to sell those drugs in the future.
Being charged with drug possession is still a serious crime, even if it’s not as serious as trafficking/distribution. Some states, like California, have a three strikes system in place where if you are found guilty of possessing drugs and you have violent prior convictions, you can face much more serious consequences. The specific penalties for drug possession vary from state to state. However, most states will issue a hefty fine and even some jail time. The punishment also varies depending on what kind of drug you were in possession of. Marijuana possession, for example, is less serious in most states than cocaine possession. (Of course, possessing marijuana is not a crime at all in an increasing number of jurisdictions.)
Drug Possession with Intent to Sell
Possession with intent to sell drugs can be much more serious than just possession. In California, for example, possession with intent to sell can carry a lengthy prison sentence. Authorities try to establish a strong case of an intent to sell by looking at a variety of factors including the amount of drugs you were caught with and any prior history of drug sales. If, for example, you were caught with several pounds of cocaine, you would almost certainly be charged with at least possession with intent to sell because that large an amount of cocaine would be unlikely to be for personal use
If you are being charged with a federal drug crime, contact David M. Dudley today. David is a federal drug crime attorney who has defended individuals from drug-related charges for years. Call 800-805-6167 today for a free case evaluation.