Okmulgee Lawyer BlogIn Okmulgee, What is Trafficking Illegal Drugs?

trafficking illegal drugsTrafficking illegal drugs, or drug trafficking, has become all too common these days in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. When we hear about drug trafficking, we often think of large drug cartels shipping illegal drugs into our communities, as well as the lone guy on some street corner. Both are accurate depictions.

However, trafficking illegal drugs is more than that. In Oklahoma, a conviction for drug trafficking will depend more on how much of an illegal drug you are carrying, rather than your intent to sell or share a substance. And a surprisingly small amount of some illegal substances can land you in jail for drug trafficking — even if you have no intent to sell or distribute.

Controlled Substances Schedules

Oklahoma law classifies all controlled substances, prescription drugs and illegal drugs, into “schedules” according to the level of addictive risk balanced against medical use and necessity. Each classification carries its own penalties for possession, use, manufacture, and distribution.

The riskier drugs with high addictive qualities such as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin are all classified as Schedule II. (Okla. Stat. tit. 63 §§ 2-204 et seq.)

The controlled substances listed on Schedules I and II also carry the most severe penalties. Mere possession of them without a valid prescription is a felony offense. The riskier the drug, the more carefully it is regulated and the harsher the penalty for illegal use and trafficking.

What Oklahoma Law Says About Trafficking Illegal Drugs

Possession alone of enough of a scheduled drug will be enough for a conviction under the law against trafficking illegal drugs in Oklahoma. Possession can be used under the law to infer that you are a drug trafficker.

Here is a typical scenario. You are carrying some LSD for you and your friends, and are driving through Oklahoma. Your taillight is out and you get stopped on the freeway in Oklahoma. The police search your car and find the LSD.

Not only will you be guilty of possession, but also the law will imply “trafficking” if the amount you are carrying meets the statutory requirements. So how much is enough? Surprisingly small amounts are enough for a trafficking conviction. Here are some thresholds:

  • Marijuana: 25 lbs.
  • LSD: 1 gram (a packet of sugar is approximately 1 gram)
  • Cocaine: 28 grams
  • Crack Cocaine: 5 grams
  • Methamphetamine: 20 grams
  • PCP (phencyclidine): 20 grams
  • Ecstasy (MDMA): 10 grams/30 tablets
  • Heroin: 10 grams

Defenses

Many of these convictions happen as a result of an automobile stop and search. It is vital that if you are stopped, that you do not speak to police nor give your consent for a search of your car.

The lack of consent means that if the police search your car without probable cause to do so, any conviction for drugs found as a result may be overturned as a result of an illegal search. Illegal search and seizure form the basis for many of the defenses used in drug cases.

Going back to the scenario above. Let’s say the car has several passengers. The possession must be intentional in order to be actionable. If one of your passengers hid the controlled substance in the car without your knowledge, you have a viable defense.

In all cases, instead of talking to the police, or giving consent to a search, contact an experienced Okmulgee drug crimes attorney as soon as possible.

Penalties

If you are convicted of trafficking illegal drugs, prison time is mandatory in Oklahoma, even for a first offense. In addition, the fines imposed are huge, even for a first offense.

The amount of prison time and fines depend on the drug involved and the amount you are caught with. The prison time mandated by statute is double that that would be imposed for possession alone. It is trebled for a second conviction.

It is possible to get a life sentence for possession of a sufficient quantity of any of these substances.

Here are some examples of fines that may be imposed:

  • Marijuana: 25 lbs.: up to $100,000
  • Methamphetamine: 20 grams: up to $200,000
  • Cocaine: 28 grams: up to $100,000
  • Heroin: 10 grams: up to $50,000
  • PCP: 20 grams: up to $100,000

Prescription drugs are also included on this list. Fines depend on the amount of illegal prescription drugs you are carrying.

Thirty tablets of methamphetamine carries a minimum fine of $25,000. Getting caught with 500 grams or more of a benzodiazepine such as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin will net you a fine of at least $100,000.

Aggravated Trafficking

Prison terms and fines grow with both repeated offenses and with increased amounts. For example, if you are caught with 1,000 pounds of marijuana instead of 25, your fine may be as high as $500,000.

Aggravated trafficking also carries an increased minimum number of years in prison to at least 15 years. It is also subject to the 85% rule. You must serve at least 85% of your prison term before being released.

Free Consultation: Okmulgee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one needs to speak with an Okmulgee criminal defense attorney regarding a charge of trafficking illegal drugs in Oklahoma, call 918-756-9600 now for a free consultation.

Or, enter your legal question or concern in the form at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will promptly return your message.

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