When the average person hears the word “trafficking,” it usually conjures to mind images of mountains of drugs being transported across borders, whether it’s from country to country or across state lines. While that’s not always the case, drug trafficking takes many forms and is classified as a serious felony.
Weighted penalties geared towards the worst actors
Although some states don’t have their own specific laws on drug trafficking, the penalties for illegal drug dealing are arranged on a weighted scale. This means that the penalty is proportionate to the crime. Factors that determine the severity of the crime include both the amount and class of drugs.
The federal laws against drug trafficking are primarily geared towards the biggest trafficking operations active in the illegal drug community. Because of the nature of trafficking, these groups usually operate in multiple states or countries, which changes the way a criminal defense strategy is constructed.
Under the context of Indiana’s Uniform Controlled Substance Act, selling drugs on a large scale is an offense classified as a serious felony. And it’s important to remember that one offense may lead to criminal charges at both the state and federal levels.
The law that relates to drug dealing or trafficking is Indiana Code Title 35. Criminal Law and Procedure § 35-48-4-1. Under this statute, drug dealing is defined as someone who intentionally or knowingly is involved in the drug dealing process at any step of the way. This includes manufacturing, financing the manufacturing, delivering, financing the delivery, or possession with the intent of doing any of the above.
For the most serious drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, or narcotics such as heroin, the charges may range from a Level 5 to Level 2 Felony depending on the amount. Schedule I, II, and III drugs go down to a Level 6 Felony for the most minor cases of less than a gram. Since these types of drugs come in larger quantities, it takes 28 grams for it to be a Level 2 Felony.
Drug trafficking is considered a serious crime that comes with duly serious penalties. It’s crucial to know that having involvement in any step of the drug production process may result in as much as a Level 2 Felony, which comes with incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.