Is There Any Way to Avoid Prison for a Drug Trafficking Charge?
Drug trafficking is a type of distribution that involves the illegal sale of a controlled substance. Trafficking has less to do with whether the drugs crossed state lines as it does with the amount of drugs involved.
The consequences of a drug trafficking conviction in Georgia vary greatly depending on the type and amount of drugs involved, where the defendant was arrested, and the defendant’s criminal record. The more “serious” the drug, the more severe the offense. Heroin, for example, is associated with much heavier penalties than marijuana. Large amounts of the drug are much more likely to carry felony charges and severe penalties than small amounts.
Any involvement in a drug network, including possession or distribution, could constitute drug trafficking under state and federal law. Any form of participation in the illegal drug trade is punishable by fines, prison time, or both. Trafficking tends to be quite serious, and as such, Georgia officials usually prosecute to the full extent of the law.
Defending against drug trafficking charges
The serious nature of drug trafficking does not mean defending yourself against those charges is a hopeless cause. An aggressive defense strategy may involve any of the following elements:
- Probable cause: Did the officer making the arrest have a good reason — “probable cause” — to do so? Probable cause is a legal principle needed to conduct a search or seizure. If no probable cause existed, any evidence seized during the search may be inadmissible for use in court.
- Bad luck: You may be able to argue that you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when the arrest was made. Unfortunate circumstances made it appear as if you had some involvement with the trafficking ring.
- No warrant: Police officers must obtain a warrant prior to conducting a search, unless you gave the officers. A quick perusal of court records will indicate whether a judge issued a valid warrant before the search.
- No intent: You could argue there was no intent to distribute or traffic the drugs. This is typically a less challenging approach in cases that involve a smaller amount of drugs. A large amount of the drug often leads law enforcement officials to assume intent to distribute.
- Lack of awareness: You could argue that you were unaware of the trafficking activities taking place.
For more information and advice on drug trafficking in Georgia and the various penalties associated with this offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the law office of James D. Michael, P.C.