Trafficking vs. Distribution

Is There a Difference Between Trafficking and Distribution?

A common question clients have is what is the difference between drug trafficking and drug distribution?  Basically, drug distribution refers to the selling, delivering, or providing of a controlled substances illegally. This charge is often used if someone tries to sell drugs to an undercover officer. Drug “trafficking,” on the other hand, generally refers to the illegal sale and/or distribution of a controlled substance. Put another way, distribution involves the movement of drugs and trafficking is determined by the weight of the drugs – no movement is required.

Specifics about drug distribution

Essentially, if law enforcement catches you attempting to move drugs in any manner, you could face distribution charges.  What some people don’t realize is that you don’t have to be caught in the act of actually exchange money for drugs in order to be charged with distribution.  In fact, if you are found carrying a large quantity of drugs or a substantial amount of cash, you could be charged with possession with the intent to distribute.

Federal laws on drug trafficking are comprehensive

Under federal law, drug trafficking charges can include charges for manufacturing, distributing, as well as possession with the intent to distribute.  It all depends on the amount or weight of the drugs found. Drug trafficking charges do not necessarily involve crossing state or national borders, contrary to what many believe.  Yet, when drugs are moved across borders, it is more likely that federal law enforcement will get involved.

Ultimately, if you are facing any type of drug charges, you need to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.  You could be facing serious jail time. If you have questions regarding drug trafficking or distribution, or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law for a consultation by calling us at (205) 296-4233.

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