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In Montgomery County and the rest of Pennsylvania, just as it is in all of the United States, drug trafficking involving possessing a controlled substance with the intention of distributing it. A controlled substance can include any drugs or narcotics that are illegal. In a case involving a person who has been arrested and charged with drug trafficking offenses, the prosecution is required to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly grew, manufactured or obtained an illegal drug and transported or delivered it to someone else in the county or state, in general.
One thing that is important to note is that the individual does not even have to intend on distributing or delivering the illegal drug or drugs to another person. Even if this occurred and it was not the individual’s intention, they can still be charged and even convicted of drug possession. Generally, this offense is separate from drug trafficking but the same law governs both crimes.
What is Drug Trafficking in Montgomery County and Pennsylvania, in General?
The crime of drug trafficking is specially defined as the selling, distributing, manufacturing and cultivating of a controlled substance. Examples of such substances are cocaine, heroin and LSD. In Montgomery County and Pennsylvania, in general, however, the crime is handled differently than in other places. Sometimes, there may be very little difference between trafficking a drug and possessing it with the intention of delivering it. If the prosecutor cannot prove that the drugs were sold or even delivered, they can instead argue that the defendant had every intention of doing one or both. To that end, the penalties for both crimes are frequently the same.
Penalties and Sentences for Drug Trafficking in Montgomery County
In general, both drug trafficking and distribution of a controlled substance is charged as a felony in Montgomery County and the rest of Pennsylvania. At the same time, there are certain factors that determine the specific charge a person can receive when they are found guilty and convicted of the crime. Those include the type of drug, the amount of the substance found in their possession and the classification of the substance. Usually, drug trafficking is charged as a felony in Montgomery County and the rest of the state of Pennsylvania. A person can also receive federal charges if the drug trafficking carried over state lines. Prison sentences for the crime can be anywhere from a minimum of seven years to a maximum of 20 years. Sometimes, the prosecution may be amenable to a plea bargain in exchange for a lesser charge if the individual pleads guilty or agrees to provide information for a bigger investigation.
In addition to prison time, the individual is also subject to a fine. If they are charged with a misdemeanor offense, they are required to pay a fine of up to $5,000. If a person is charged with a felony offense, they may be subject to a fine of up to $250,000.
Possible Defenses for Drug Trafficking in Montgomery County
There are a number of defenses that can be used in a drug trafficking case in the Montgomery County area or in Pennsylvania, in general. They include the following:
• The defense attorney can argue that the drugs did not belong to the defendant
• The defense attorney can argue that it was a case of entrapment, which would throw the case out
• The defense attorney can argue that there was an insufficient amount of the drug for trafficking charges to stick
• The defense can argue the defendant lacked knowledge
• The defense can argue that the defendant lacked the intent to deliver or distribute the drugs to another person
• The defense can argue that the defendant is a licensed practitioner who can legally distribute the drugs in good faith
Drug trafficking charges are always serious. A person who faces them should always retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to build a strong case against the charges.