If you face a drug charge known as “drug trafficking,” you may wonder what constitutes drug trafficking. The Neal Davis Law Firm has answers for you.
Drug Trafficking Defined
Drug trafficking is another way of describing drug distribution. That means a person transported, sold or imported illegal controlled substances—including meth, cocaine, heroin or marijuana. Under Texas law and by federal law, drug trafficking or distribution is a felony crime.
In addition, drug trafficking can indicate illegal transportation or selling of prescription drugs, a growing form of drug trafficking crimes. There’s also been a recent rise in heroin and meth arrests for distribution.
“The crime of drug trafficking constitutes about 1 in every 5 drug-related arrests in America, reports the U.S. Department of Justice.”
Drug Crimes: Trafficking vs. Possession
By its nature, drug trafficking also includes the crime of drug possession, since you’d have to possess a drug illegally before you could distribute it.
But what signals that drug possession—which could be a misdemeanor crime—also involves the more serious felony charge of drug trafficking?
A prosecutor may cite circumstantial evidence to show that a defendant had drugs not just for personal use, but also for commercial purposes—that is, to sell or distribute them.
Such evidence could include plastic baggies for separating and distributing drugs, a scale for weighing contraband or business records showing drug sales and purchases—all found during an arrest. A large quantity of cash in the defendant’s possession at the time of arrest also could be considered an indicator that drugs were being sold.
Prosecutors might also cite testimony by witnesses who knew of a defendant’s drug trafficking and perhaps did business with the defendant by selling or buying drugs.
Drug trafficking laws mandate that prosecutors must prove that the defendant was involved in selling, importing or transporting drugs, or intended to be. Otherwise, the charge would be drug possession, a lesser charge.
How to Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge
As for what’s a legal defense against a drug trafficking charge in Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend County or Montgomery County, an experienced Texas drug defense attorney at the Neal Davis Law Firm is needed who know of ways to fight for your legal rights.
Such defense strategies against drug trafficking charges can include:
- Citing an illegal search and seizure which violated your Fourth Amendment rights. Police must have “probable cause” to search you, your home or your vehicle.
- Arguing that the drugs were planted on you by law officers. While this is a rare claim, it’s certainly a valid defense if it can be proven.
- Arguing that you weren’t aware you were in possession of drugs, which belonged to someone else. Perhaps you were given a package to deliver or clothing to wear and didn’t know that they contained drugs.
- Discrepancies between the purity of the drugs cited in the arrest and the analysis of the drugs by a crime lab.
- Citing missing evidence between the times of arrest and trial. Only drugs taken at the crime scene can be admitted as evidence at trial.
- Citing that a defendant was threatened with bodily injury or death unless he or she trafficked drugs for someone else. This defense is known as duress.
- Arguing that the defendant was among a group of drug traffickers during an arrest but didn’t actually possess any such drugs himself or herself.
In these and other ways, a drug crime defense lawyer can protect your legal rights. Contact us today at the Neal Davis Law Firm for a free and confidential legal review of your drug trafficking case.