When accused of any type of crime, it is important that Ohio residents understand their situation to the best of their abilities. If authorities recently took you into custody on suspicion of criminal actions, you may understandably want to know everything you can about how you came under suspicion, whether officers acted in accordance with protocols and what the exact allegations you face mean.
As you undoubtedly know, some criminal charges are more serious than others. If you stand accused of drug trafficking, you are in a more serious predicament than someone accused of drug possession or even just distribution. In fact, drug trafficking is a federal charge that falls into the category of a felony.
Trafficking vs possession
If authorities believe that you had illegal or controlled substances in your possession, you may have thought that you would face a drug possession charge. However, if the amount investigators found was over a certain limit, they may suspect that you intended to traffic the substances. Cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, prescription pills and other substances are commonly trafficked.
The exact trafficking charges you face could also depend on the type of substances allegedly involved. For example, if Schedule I substances, or those that are highly addictive, played a part, you could face a more serious charge than with a Schedule IV or V substance. Of course, you should take any trafficking charge seriously, but knowing even the most minor seeming detail could help you build a meaningful criminal defense against the allegations.
If you face federal drug trafficking charges, you could face the possibility of steep penalties in the event of a conviction. Some of those possible consequences include the following:
- A maximum of five years in prison for 50 kilograms of marijuana
- Five to 40 years in prison for 100 grams of heroin or 500 grams of cocaine
- Ten years to life in prison for 1000 kilograms of marijuana, 1 kilogram of heroin or 5 kilograms of cocaine
Understandably, you want to determine how you can best avoid those potential outcomes. Luckily, you have the right to create and present a defense against the allegations during your criminal trial. You also have the right to an attorney, and your legal counsel could help you find the best options for working toward favorable outcomes.