Drugs are unfortunately not an uncommon issue in the United States. Although the dangers and health hazards of drugs have been well documented throughout the years, some still continue to choose to get involved with illegal and often harmful substances. Sometimes, this participation goes beyond simply indulging in the drugs and moves into the illegal realm of drug trafficking. While drug trafficking penalties are indeed serious offenses, there are many different ways in which one can punished for such crimes.
What constitutes as a controlled substance is decided upon by a government. Once a substance has been declared a controlled substance, the sale and distribution of said substance is generally illegal. There is not, however, a blanket punishment applied to each and every illegal substance. Instead, the penalties associated fall under different “schedules” according to what type of substance was trafficked and the quantity.
The punishments for each scheduled substance includes a minimum and maximum prison sentence (depending on whether or not bodily injury was involved) and a fine. Methamphetamine, for instance, is a schedule two substances which, if a person is found convicted of trafficking between five and 49 grams on a first offense, can carry a prison sentence of no less than five years (but not more than 40) and a fine of no more than $5 million if an individual or $25 million if not an individual. However, if bodily injury or death are involved in the same instance, the prison sentence rises to no less than 20 years.
As made clear, drug trafficking charges carry very serious consequences and often have completely life-changing effects. Because of these consequences, it is important that a case be treated sensitively and with care. By enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney, those caught up in such instances can alleviate some of the stress involved by hopefully knowing that their legal guidance is helping to maintain a fair and balanced proceeding of legal activities.
Source: dea.gov, “Federal Trafficking Penalties,” Accessed on Dec. 23, 2014