Federal penalties for a cocaine trafficking conviction are very serious. Their severity ultimately depends on two factors: 1) how much cocaine federal authorities convicted you of trafficking; and 2) how many times you have been convicted of drug offenses. Let's take a look at the various penalties associated with cocaine trafficking below.
A federal grand jury recently returned drug distribution indictments for a couple and the couple's adult son. The investigation into the couple allegedly revealed that marijuana was grown in California and then transported to another state where it was sold. Each of the three was charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and with one count of aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects the citizens of the United States from an unreasonable search and seizure of their property and persons. If a police officer or government agent fails to perform a lawful search and obtains evidence of an illegal activity the evidence is often deemed inadmissible in court. This can include any evidence of a drug trafficking offense that is obtained during an ordinary traffic stop.
Not everyone accused of a crime is a criminal. In fact, sometimes people get caught up in situations that they never intended to be involved with in the first place. There are many reasons that this can occur. In some cases, it is simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In other cases, it is the result of knowing the wrong people. In either case, prosecutors need more than association to convict.
For many of those who may be facing federal drug charges, the rules concerning courtroom behavior may seem complicated and confusing. Lawyers and judges are bound by certain rules that must be obeyed, and when those rules are not obeyed, appeals courts can intervene. This was the case when a California federal appeals court threw out a drug trafficking conviction because of a San Diego prosecutor's statement to jurors.