Drug trafficking is defined as the selling, transportation and illegal import of unlawful controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, etc.
The Virginia code states that it is a felony to transport the following into the state:
- 1 ounce or more of cocaine, its components or derivatives.
- 1 ounce or more of any schedule I or II substance.
- Five or more pounds of marijuana.
As there are classes in felonies, there are types of crimes that may fall under a felony description but not under any of its classes and so drug trafficking in the state of Virginia is described as an unclassified felony. An unclassified felony is one that has its own specific penalties set by the law.
Virginia drug trafficking law states that if a vehicle was used to transport illegal drugs or an illegal amount of drugs, the government has the authority to take the vehicle and do what they want with it.
To show that an offender had something to do with drug trafficking, it has to be proven that the offender intended to sell or promote the drug. If this cannot be proven then the punishment to simply possessing a drug will be given which is less serious than if the punishment was for drug trafficking. Another way for an offender to minimize his punishment is the method in which officials knew that he/she possessed that specific drug.
If the officers violated the offender’s legal rights then this fact can be used to minimize the punishment. The punishment could be minimized if the offender hires an attorney who is highly experienced in drug trafficking cases.
Since drug trafficking is an unclassified felony, its punishment is expected to be harsher than class three and maybe class two felony crimes where the punishment in the state of Virginia for class three felonies is imprisonment from five to twenty years and a fine that may reach $100,000 and the punishment for class two felonies is imprisonment for a period from 20 years to life and a fine which may extend to $100,000. In this case, drug trafficking punishment is harsher than class three felony punishments and can be argued to be harsher than class two felony punishments. The punishment for drug trafficking if the offender was convicted for the first time is imprisonment for a period from five years to 40 years and/or a fine that may reach $1,000,000.
If an offender is found to have been convicted for the first time for drug trafficking, the court may choose to put the offender under probation.
The offender must be complete probation with some rules which include:
- Substance abuse assessment;
- Remaining drug and alcohol-free; and
- 100 hours of community service.
Virginia drug trafficking laws indicate that drug trafficking is an unclassified felony which is punished separately. The punishment for drug trafficking is imprisonment for a period that ranges from five years to 40 years and/or a fine that may reach $1,000,000.
If you need a Virginia Drug Trafficking Lawyer to help you with your Drug Trafficking case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia Drug Trafficking Attorneys can help you. C