Drug Trafficking Charges

FORT WORTH DRUG CRIME DEFENSE LAWYER

Drug TraffickingDrug Trafficking Definition

Drug trafficking is the sale, distribution, manufacturing, or delivery of controlled substances or illegal drugs and is a violation of both state and federal law. It is also a violation to possess a large amount of drugs with the intent to deliver the drugs at a later date. Both delivery and the possession with intent to deliver carry enhanced penalties that are very severe.

When an offender makes the smart decision to hire an attorney for the arraignment, an attorney has already counseled his client on his/her options. Specifically, should he/she plea guilty, not guilty, or no contest?

Frequently Trafficked Drugs

Controlled substances and drugs that are frequently the subject of drug trafficking indictments include:

  • Marijuana, Cocaine, and Heroin
  • Meth, methamphetamine or crystal meth
  • LSD and Ecstasy
  • Prescription drugs including Oxycodone and Oxycontin

Drug Trafficking Defenses

If you’ve been charged with drug trafficking, don’t think all hope is lost. Fort Worth drug crime attorney Justin Sparks will challenge the prosecution of these cases on several grounds:

  • Not knowing you were in possession and transporting an illegal drug
  • Believing you were transporting something other than an illegal drug
  • Being forced to transport illegal drugs by threats against you or your family
  • The police did not have a reasonable basis to stop and search you
  • The warrant was defective, making the search and arrest illegal

While there are several drug trafficking defenses, a winning strategy is difficult unless you have an experienced criminal defense attorney to counsel you and help you confront the drug task forces and the DEA.

Federal Drug Charges

If you are arrested in Dallas or Fort Worth, you may be facing a trial in a federal court, with a federal judge and prosecutor, backed by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) if any of the following factors are present:

  • A large amount of drugs is involved
  • The crime involves activity in multiple states or countries
  • There is an indication of organized criminal or gang activity
  • The decision of the federal prosecutor

At the time of an arraignment, which normally occurs within 72 hours of an arrest, the Fort Worth judge or magistrate will explain the charges against you as well as the options you have.

Federal prosecutors often offer drug trafficking offenders a plea deal of a lesser sentence in exchange for more information about drug movement. It is in your best interest to have an attorney with you to choose the correct way to proceed. Notably, if you enter a case without an experienced attorney and wait too long to make a decision, certain options may no longer be available to you.

Consequences for Drug Trafficking

The consequences for a drug trafficking charge depend on the type of drug and the amount of illegal substance.  Fines can range from $25,000 to $500,000 and jail time can be from three years to 25 years. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration outlines the penalties for drug trafficking per drug type and amount.

Unfortunately, state and federal laws are designed to penalize and not rehabilitate.  You can enter a plea to a single transaction but then be sentenced based on every transaction.  If you are convicted in Federal court, you are sentenced based on the conduct alleged in the indictment and also all relevant conduct.

All convictions are reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and become a public record viewable by employers and others. Individuals convicted of drug trafficking generally serve a prison sentence , then have very limited employment prospects upon release with this on their record.

Because of the severe consequences arising from a drug-related convictions, it is imperative that you obtain the services of a competent drug crime lawyer to handle your case.

Drug Enforcement Administration’s Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties

Cocaine: 500 - 4999 grams

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

Cocaine: 5 kilograms or more

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

Cocaine Base: 28-279 grams

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

Cocaine Base: 280 grams or more

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

Fentanyl: 40 - 399 grams

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

Fentanyl: 400 grams or more

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

Fentanyl Analogue: 10 - 99 grams

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

Fentanyl Analogue: 100 grams or more

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

Heroin: 100 - 999 grams

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

Heroin: 1 kilogram or more

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

LSD: 1 - 9 grams

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

LSD: 10 grams or more

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

Methamphetamine: 5 - 49 grams pure, or 50 - 499 grams mixture

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

Methamphetamine: 50 grams or more of pure, or 500 grams or more of mixture

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

PCP: 10 - 99 grams pure, or 100 - 999 grams of mixture

  • First Offense: Not less than 5 years in prison, and not more that 40 years in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, or more than life in prison. Fine of not more that $5 million (if an individual), or fine of not more that $25 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less that 10 years in prison and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, the penalty is life in prison. Fine of not more than $8 million (if an individual), or fine of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).

PCP: 100 grams or more of pure, or 1 kilogram or more of mixture

  • First Offense: Not less than 10 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. Fines of not more than $10 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $50 million (if not an individual).
  • Second Offense: Not less than 20 years in prison, and not more than life in prison. If death, or bodily injury occurred, life in prison. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of $75 million (if not an individual).
  • 2 Or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fines of not more than $20 million (if an individual), or fines of not more than $75 million (if not an individual).

CALL JUSTIN SPARKS

If you are facing drug trafficking charges, you have the potential to fall into some serious penalties including jail/prison time and very high fines. Justin Sparks’ exclusive focus is on State and Federal criminal defense. He is here to fight for your rights, and there is no one better to trust with your future. If you are charged with a drug trafficking offense, get the help of a Fort Worth drug trafficking lawyer and don’t go to court unprepared.

(817) 334-0300

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Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney

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