WHAT IS DRUG TRAFFICKING?
According to U.S.C. § 924:
(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “drug trafficking crime” means any felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 951 et seq.), or chapter 705 of title 46.
Drug trafficking can be charged as a state or federal offense. Both the United States Code and the California Health and Safety Code have laws against the transporting of illegal substances in and out of the country. If you were arrested for drug trafficking, it is likely that you are under investigation by a state agency or the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Due to the power of these agencies, you need to make sure you have an even stronger defense by contacting Okabe & Haushalter.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING?
The U.S. DEA provides the federal trafficking penalties for Schedules I through V drug trafficking offenses with the exclusion of marijuana offenses.
Trafficking cocaine (Schedule II drug) in any amount from 500-4999 grams, on first offense, is 4 to 50 years’ imprisonment. The fine cannot exceed $5 million for individuals and cannot exceed $25 million for multiple offenders. Second offense for this amount is 10 years to life imprisonment and fines that cannot exceed $8 million for individuals and $50 million for multiple offenders.
Trafficking 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, on first offense, is punishable by 10 years to life imprisonment. Fine is $10 million maximum for individuals and $50 million for multiple offenders. Second offense for this amount will warrant 20 years to life imprisonment and a fine of $20 million maximum for an individual and $7 million maximum for multiple offenders.
Trafficking heroin (Schedule I drug) in any amount from 100-999 grams on a first offense has the same penalties as a first offense for cocaine trafficking (500-4999 grams). The second offense penalties correspond with the penalties for a second cocaine trafficking offense.
Trafficking 1 kilogram or more of heroin, on a first offense, carries the same penalties as a first offense for 5+ kilograms of cocaine. Second offense for this amount of heroin also corresponds to the second offense penalties for 5+ kilograms of cocaine. For a third or subsequent trafficking conviction of this nature, the penalty is life imprisonment.
DRUG CRIME DEFENSE STRATEGIES
Our Los Angeles drug crime defense lawyers are armed with the knowledge of many legal defenses against trafficking and related crimes. A possible defense is determining that there was an illegal search and seizure. When proven that there was a violation of your fourth amendment rights, your case would have little evidence to warrant a conviction. It is also possible your charges were resulted from police entrapment. Even though entrapment is illegal, the line between goo police investigation and entrapment is often blurred. Legal defenses differ depending on each particular case. In order to be informed on what legal defenses you might be entitled to, do not hesitate to call our Los Angeles drug trafficking attorneys!