State law makes drug trafficking a serious crime. You may be sentenced to months or years in prison, fines costing thousands of dollars, the loss of your driver’s license, and a permanent record as a criminal drug offender. You may also face federal charges if you break federal drug laws as well. These are not charges you should take lightly.
Sometimes trafficking charges are applied unnecessarily against someone with an addiction issue. If you’re arrested on drug trafficking charges, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. He or she attorney can discuss your options, try to get your charges dropped or reduced, and protect your future.
What are Ohio Drug Trafficking Charges?
Trafficking laws are much tougher than normal drug possession. Ohio law makes drug trafficking a felony to knowingly “sell or offer to sell a controlled substance” unless you’re legally authorized to do so as a licensed pharmacist or health professional.
Also, under state law, selling means more than exchanging a drug for money. The definition of “sale” includes delivery, barter, exchange, transfer, or gift, or an offer to do so.
You could be charged no matter what role you played in the “sale:”
- Preparing drugs for shipment
- Shipping, transporting, or delivering drugs
- Preparing drugs for distribution
- Distributing them for sale
Drug trafficking penalties vary depending on:
- The drug involved
- The amount
- Whether it happened near a school or a juvenile
Ohio law spells out different forms of drug trafficking and their possible sentences. Potential penalties range from six months to 11 years in prison and fines from $2,500 to $20,000.
What About Federal Drug Trafficking?
Depending on what you’re accused of doing, you could also face federal drug trafficking, distribution, or conspiracy charges. You may be arrested by federal law enforcement if:
- You violated federal law
- You took drugs across state borders
- You imported drugs from outside the US or exported them to another country
- The offense happened on federal property
- Law enforcement believes you’re working for a large drug or crime organization
Federal drug crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences that could come into play depending on a number of issues. If the drugs are more than a given amount, it triggers mandatory minimum sentences, which could be five or 10 years in prison. Federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies generally have more resources than their Ohio colleagues, so you must take federal charges seriously.
How To Resolve Drug Trafficking Charges?
Trafficking charges impact how you can resolve your case. Even if you’re a drug user caught up in something more significant, a trafficking charge will disqualify you from a drug diversion or intervention program. Depending on your role, options you might consider are becoming an informant on the drug operation or providing testimony against others at a trial.
If you have a low-level function, law enforcement and prosecutors may be more interested in developing evidence against higher-level people than prosecuting you to the fullest extent of the law. That desire for information can be used as leverage to negotiate a plea agreement that minimizes your sentence.
Charged With Drug Trafficking? Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates
If you are charged with or are being investigated for drug trafficking, contact our experienced drug crimes lawyers today. For more than a decade, the criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have successfully represented clients on criminal offenses from minor misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. That extensive experience can be put to work for you.