Most people assume that drug trafficking and possession with intent are one and the same thing. While it is true that both offenses involve the intent to distribute illegal drugs, the penalties for the two offenses differ in Charlotte, North Carolina. In simple words, drug trafficking is generally determined based on the weight of the drugs while possession with intent is determined by the movement and distribution of the drugs in question. Drug trafficking can include charges for distribution, possession, and manufacturing.
The laws on drug trafficking are based on the number of drugs found during the arrest. As the quantity increases, so do the penalties. On the other hand, as far as possession with intent is concerned, quantity is not used to determine the penalty. Anything more than an ounce of marijuana or a gram of cocaine is considered ‘intent to distribute’ in the eyes of the law. Therefore, both drug trafficking and possession with intent are treated differently even if they are drug-related offenses.
Penalties for drug trafficking are more serious and more severe as compared to penalties for possession with intent. However, anyone charged with either of these offenses will receive a minimum mandatory sentence. If the individual is a repeat offender and has been previously convicted of the same crime, they are likely to receive additional penalties.
Drug Possession, Drug Distribution, and Drug Trafficking
The first thing to understand is that drug possession, distribution, and trafficking are all illegal. Anyone who attempts to import illegal drugs like heroin, LSD, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana or club drugs across state lines or into the country is committing a crime and can be charged. In the US, the penalties associated with the drug trade are very harsh. Apart from state laws, there are federal laws in place that are used to prosecute people who engage in the illegal drug trade.
Over the past few years, the legal system in the US has followed a hard-line approach when dealing with drug trafficking and possession with intent. For repeat offenders, the penalties are obviously quite severe, but for first-time offenders, the penalty is dependent on the quantity of drug traded, the type of drug, the amount of money exchanged, and the location where the drug-related crime took place.
Drug Trafficking and Possession with Intent with Minors
The courts also take into account another very important issue. If the offender in question has attempted to sell the drugs to a minor, then it will be considered an even more serious crime with harsher penalties. Even if the offender charged with drug distribution did not directly sell the drugs to a minor, but was in the vicinity of children, they could receive a stiff prison sentence. If the alleged distribution is conducted near a school, this can be construed as an attempt to make these substances available to minors. Law enforcement authorities in the US now have more power to arrest people who deal with these substances. That is why even the possession of small amounts of marijuana can land you in big trouble.
Reach Out to a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina About Your Charges
Drug charges can ruin your life and greatly affect your future if you are given harsh penalties. That is why if you have been charged with drug trafficking or possession with intent in Charlotte, North Carolina, you need to consult a drug possession lawyer immediately to discuss your defense options.
Keep in mind that drug trafficking and possession with intent are serious crimes, so you do not want to try to handle the legal elements of these charges on your own. There are many elements to drug distribution/possession charges, and you need a strong defense and the services of somebody who has previously dealt with cases related to possession and distribution of illegal drugs. Judges can be very tough on offenders who engage in drug-related crimes, whether its possession, distribution or manufacturing. The situation can become worse if there are any minors involved and if there is any evidence that trade or an attempt to trade or provide drugs to minors had occurred.
For any legal advice and representation, call a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer at Remington & Dixon. Our law firm is dedicated to providing all our clients with the best legal representation. You can be assured that when you hire our firm, we will work hard to reduce or eliminate your charges so that you can move forward in life as soon as possible.
Brandon double-majored in Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He earned his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Throughout his career, Brandon has received numerous awards and recognition from his peers and agencies that rate attorneys. A few of these awards are from The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyer in 2014, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 in 2014, Nation’s Top One Percent: National Association of Distinguished Counsel in 2015, Super Lawyers: Rising Stars in 2018 and 2019, and North Carolina Business Magazine: Legal Elite in 2019, among others.