Quantity of Product and the Defendant’s Intentions Are Relevant
Drug trafficking criminal charges are a world apart from other types of drug crimes like drug possession. Due to the severity of a drug trafficking charge, all drug trafficking charges are felonies. Drug trafficking charges in Michigan are taken very seriously by prosecuting attorneys. For instance, a marijuana-related drug trafficking conviction carries a four-year maximum sentence. A drug trafficking conviction, such as intent to deliver or distribution, relating to other types of illegal drugs carries a maximum sentence from more than 25 years to life depending on the quantity seized. Unlike with first-time drug possession charges, criminal court judges are more likely to order sentences that approach the maximum allowable sentence.
Get an Expert Drug Trafficking Defense
A savvy criminal defense lawyer can successfully fight drug trafficking charges. How? The answer in every case depends on the defendant’s unique circumstances. At the Schwartz Law Group, in Birmingham, AV-rated* attorney Steven L. Schwartz has over more than 20 years’ experience as a Michigan criminal defense attorney. We defend clients throughout Oakland County and Metro-Detroit against drug trafficking charges relating to all manner of illegal narcotics, from marijuana and Ecstasy to crack cocaine, meth and heroin.
Call us at (248) 266-8720 or send us an e-mail.
* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.
What if I was Carrying a Large Quantity for Personal Use?
Drug trafficking charges depend solely on the quantity and intentions of the person who was caught holding.
If you get busted with a certain amount of illegal product, the law tells the police and prosecutors to assume you were carrying that much product because you intended to sell, deliver or distribute the drugs. The law assumes that an individual will not carry large amounts of illegal narcotics for personal use.
Drug trafficking charges depend entirely on quantity and the intentions of the person caught holding. Money is not a factor, and neither are the intentions of anyone on the delivery side of the transaction. For example, drug trafficking charges can result from simply handing a quantity of narcotics to another person, even if no money changes hands in the transaction.
What Does a Drug Trafficking Case Review Look Like?
In some drug trafficking cases, we attack the police assumptions regarding the defendant’s intentions. For example, we might uncover evidence that allows us to argue persuasively that the defendant may be an addict who might carry high amounts of product for personal use. Or, we may be able to show that the defendant didn’t know the drugs were present in the house or car. Questions we ask include:
- Who owned the house or car?
- Where exactly were the drugs found?
- Who else was present when the drugs were found? Where were those people in relation to the drugs?
- Who else had access to the car or the house?
In other cases, we examine the traffic stop and/or the searches that led to the arrest. If the police conducted the stop, search or seizure in ways that violated the defendant’s constitutional rights, then we can argue that any evidence seized as part of the search is illegally obtained evidence and must be thrown out. Questions we ask in drug trafficking cases include:
- How did the police find the drugs?
- Was it a legal personal search for the officer to ensure his or her own safety?
- Was it a legal inventory search as part of an arrest?
- Were the narcotics or prescription drugs in plain view?