The frequent trafficking and smuggling of controlled substances across the Mexican border has created a laser focus by law enforcement. Drug trafficking charges are prosecuted with the full force of the state and federal government. Convictions for manufacturing or selling drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines could lead to long prison sentences and large fines. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced Houston drug trafficking attorney if you are accused of a drug offense. Top defense lawyer, In-Chul Sohn, aggressively fights drug-related charges.
What Is Trafficking?
The term “trafficking” has broad legal ramifications. It generally refers to the sale and distribution of illegal drugs and controlled substances. Under state and federal guidelines, it also involves the manufacture, import, and export of drugs or counterfeits. The government also tends to ramp up simple possession cases to trafficking cases when weighing instruments are found, individualized portions have been packaged, or large quantities and cash are seized. Trafficking charges are often targeted at dealers and criminal organizations.
Proving Drug Trafficking Intent
The government carries the burden of proving intent beyond simple possession in these cases. For example, if you borrowed a friend’s car that had drugs in it and drove across the border, the state may need to demonstrate that you had knowledge of their presence. In other words, the government must show you intended to transport drugs across the border. Making the government prove intent is an important reason to work with an experienced Houston drug trafficking attorney.
Charges and Penalties
The Texas drug trafficking guidelines present harsh penalties for convictions. The state breaks offenses into four groups that coincide with drugs that present varying degrees of public health risk. The severity of a charge and penalty tends to depend on the type, quantity, and number of prior convictions. A Group 1 drug conviction for cocaine could result in a short jail sentence for 1 gram. The penalty for 400 grams or more ranges from 15 years to life in prison. If you are charged and convicted at the federal level, the penalties may include high mandatory minimum sentences. And, these charges can be enhanced if police recovers a firearm.
Drug trafficking convictions come with severe penalties. It’s of the utmost importance that you hire a tough and experienced attorney to defend your rights and force the state to prove all the elements of the case. If you have been charged with drug trafficking, call the Attorney In-Chul Sohn today.