When you are caught with drugs that you intend to sell or deal, there can be a lot of very serious consequences. Drug dealing is a very serious crime with harsh consequences. However, the consequences will vary depending on some factors. However, it is definitely assured that being caught with illegal or controlled substances that you are dealing will get you charged with drug trafficking and/or drug distribution.
Both drug trafficking and distribution charges deals with the illegal selling, importation and transportation of illegal and controlled substances, there are differences to the two. In drug distribution charges, the defendant is accused of selling or delivering the illegal or controlled substance. This is considered a class B felony. Drug trafficking meanwhile, does not actually refer to the movement of the drugs from state A to state B or crossing state borders, rather, it is the weight of the illegal or controlled substance that actually matters. Drug trafficking is also a felony charge.
What factors will play with the charges that will be put forward against a person?
One of the biggest factors in these kinds of charges is the kind of drugs and the amount that is in your possession. If you are found with what is considered an amount enough only for your personal use, you can be charged with lesser misdemeanor possession charge. If you are however found with an amount considered more than for personal use, along with other paraphernalia that implies that you intended to sell it, like inordinate amount of money and measuring devices like weight scale, you will be charged with drug distribution charges.
The kind of drugs you are carrying and the amount is more important though and it can also be significant with the punishment in terms of prison time. This is because of the mandatory minimum sentences implemented by federal laws. For example, possessing more than 50 grams of pure methamphetamine is enough to get you a minimum 10-year sentence. While if you are found with marijuana, the amount has to be 1,000 kilograms in order to get the same ten-year sentence. For heroine, it has to be 1 kilogram or more, 5 kilograms or more with powder cocaine, and so on.
If it can be proven that you had the intention of selling illegal drugs to minor, your drug distribution class B felony will also be automatically changed to class A felony. Circumstantial evidence like talking to a minor when caught with drugs or being caught with drugs while in the presence of minors will imply such intent. Of course, this will have to be proven in court first.
Drug gangs and cartel affiliations are also considered upon your arrest but, whether you are affiliated with gangs or cartels or not, same harsh punishment is usually given when proven guilty.
Punishment for drug trafficking and distribution are very hefty. Fines can range from $10,000 to millions. And because these are felony charges, they carry a prison time of at least 2 years to 5 years. And if the amount you were caught with qualifies you to the mandatory minimum sentences, then you will definitely serve at least 10 years of prison time.