Drug trafficking is the act of transporting illegal drugs across state or national borders. This can include substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other illicit drugs.
Arizona’s Drug Laws
In Arizona, drug possession is a serious crime. Read more about the legal consequences of marijuana possession in Arizona.
While drug trafficking specifically refers to traveling across the border carrying an illegal substance with intent to distribute, you can be convicted with trafficking if you’re caught with the specified amounts of these drugs. This is true even if you did not manufacture, buy, sell, or transport the illicit substances.
What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is considered a serious crime and can result in severe legal penalties. In Arizona, the penalties for drug trafficking depend on various factors, such as the type and amount of drug involved, prior criminal history, and the presence of aggravating circumstances. The following are the potential penalties for drug trafficking:
Two Pounds of Marijuana or Less than 9 Grams of Cocaine
For a first time offense of drug trafficking of this quantity, it is considered a Class 2 felony and the penalty is a minimum of 3 years in prison and a maximum of 12.5 years. The fine can be up to $150,000. For a second or subsequent conviction, involving less than two pounds of marijuana or less than 9 grams of cocaine, the penalty is a minimum of 4.5 years in prison and a maximum of 23.25 years. The fine can be up to $150,000.
Two and Four pounds of Marijuana, Or Between 9 and 24 Grams of Cocaine
This amount of drug trafficking is alos considered a Class 2 felony, however the penalty is a minimum of 4 years in prison and a maximum of 23.25 years. The fine can be up to $150,000.
Between Four Pounds and Ten Pounds of Marijuana, Or Between 24 and 28 Grams of Cocaine
This Class 2 felony has a penalty minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 28 years. The fine can be up to $150,000.
For trafficking ten pounds or more of marijuana, or 28 grams or more of cocaine, the penalty is a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. The fine can be up to $1,000,000.
Federal Penalties for Marijuana Trafficking
Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. As such, marijuana trafficking is a serious offense that carries severe penalties.
The penalties for federal marijuana trafficking vary depending on the amount of marijuana involved in the offense. For instance, trafficking between 1,000 and 4,999 kilograms of marijuana or between 1,000 and 4,999 marijuana plants is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, and a maximum of 40 years in prison. If death or serious injury results from the trafficking, the maximum sentence increases to life in prison.
If the amount of marijuana involved is less than 1,000 kilograms or less than 1,000 marijuana plants, the penalties are not as severe, but still carry significant prison sentences. For instance, trafficking between 100 and 999 kilograms of marijuana, or between 100 and 999 marijuana plants, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, and a maximum of 40 years in prison.
It is important to note that these penalties are for federal drug trafficking offenses, and the penalties for state-level marijuana trafficking offenses may vary depending on the state. If you are facing federal drug trafficking charges for marijuana or any other controlled substance, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
It’s Possible to Have Your Drug Trafficking Penalties Reduced
The penalties for drug trafficking are severe, but it is possible to have your penalties reduced given the right circumstances. In prior drug trafficking cases, our lawyers have had success in reducing the impact of client’s cases.
Drug Trafficking Case Result Examples
We’ve helped clients in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona facing all types of drug charges. Here’s an example of a recent drug case that had a positive outcome.
Court: Yavapai County Superior Court
Charges: one count transporting narcotic drugs for sale, one count possession of a deadly weapon, one count possession of narcotic drugs, one count DUI, one count driving on a suspended license, & one count using a stolen or fictitious plate
Our Result: charges reduced to attempted sale of narcotic drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and DUI, 150 days in jail, & six years probation and fines
To see how we’ve helped clients facing other charges, check out our recent case results.
Get Help with a Drug Trafficking Charge in Arizona
If you’re facing drug trafficking or other related drug charges in Arizona, then your life depends on the outcome of your criminal case.
With a public defender or sub-par attorney, you risk incurring penalties that can significantly and negatively impact your life. With the help of an experienced and dedicated attorney, however, you have the opportunity to lessen your penalties and the impact your case has on your future.
At JacksonWhite, we offer that dedication and expertise. Our Mesa criminal lawyers have helped thousands of clients in the Phoenix metro area, and we can help you next.
We invite you to call for your free case review. We’ll discuss your options and help you decide which legal option is best for you moving forward.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 418-4281 to discuss your case today.