Virginia Drug Trafficking Lawyer
Law enforcement in Virginia takes drug trafficking seriously. If you are facing charges, a Virginia drug trafficking attorney is essential to building your defense and helping you confront your charges. An experienced drug lawyer will be helpful in mitigating the damage of your charges and ensuring that you are prepared for each step of the legal process. They will understand best how to begin a defense for your trafficking case in Virginia.
Drug Transportation Charges
Drug trafficking is a charge constituting the act of transporting drugs from anywhere else into the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is a significant crime, and if a person transports drugs into the Commonwealth by any means, whether it is driving them in oneself or shipping them, there are certain circumstances that drugs are going to be charged significantly. They are charged with a separate and distinct felony, called transporting rogue substances in the Commonwealth. Borders are the only things that matter in a transportation charge because they have to originate from outside Virginia and inside Virginia. Without those two elements, it cannot be a transportation charge.
Someone is facing sentencing from five to 40 years imprisonment, while there is definitely a three-year mandatory minimum. The three-year mandatory minimum sentence is tacked on top of anything else that a person is convicted of. For example, if they get a person with a conspiracy charge and distribution charge or possession with the intent to distribute charge, a lot of that jail time or prison time can be suspended under the right circumstance. But, if a person is charged with a transportation crime, that person is going to get three years if that individual is convicted, and that three years cannot be suspended in any way, shape, or form. If a person can get charged with transportation, that is going to negatively impact what is going to happen when that person takes their case to court and makes it important that a Virginia drug trafficking attorney is consulted.
Law Enforcement Treatment of Trafficking
Because many drugs are shipped into Virginia by way of US mail, FedEx, or other similar types of shipping services, the federal authorities often will work with Virginia authorities to track these things down. There is a task force in Northern Virginia that includes members of the post office’s investigative units with the sole responsibility to monitor incoming packages that might have been marked as suspicious by a post office employee along the route that the package might travel.
Often it is just one astute postal worker who notices something off with the package. Those office inspectors can scan the packages or have a drug detection dog sniff around packages and if something hits, they will search. Virginia cannot do that alone because there is no such thing as a Commonwealth of Virginia shipping service. It is just United States Postal Service. Though often these state-related charges originate in a federal and a state task force where they combine their resources.
Being found responsible for endangering people by transporting dangerous controlled substances can play into trafficking because it is a step up from distribution. If a person follows up the ladder of drug charges, there is possession, which usually endangers only oneself, and then distribution, which means a person is endangering others.
Now a person has transportation, which in theory, is going to endanger a lot more people because the transportation law requires that there be fairly generous quantity of drugs being transported into the state. Therefore, the punishment is commensurate with the number of people that might potentially be affected on the commission of this particular crime.
These particular cases of drug trafficking in Virginia often involve multiple defendants, because the vast majority of these cases involve one person shipping to another person. Often there will be middlemen involved. The main distributors of drugs will use subordinates to absorb the risk of having the drug shipped directly to them and then pay them small amounts of money to deliver that package to the main distributor.
The person with a police arrest often is not the mastermind of the organization and a drug trafficking lawyer in Virginia knows that. It is usually someone else responsible for accepting shipment of the package. Drug traffickers mistakenly engage in this, and when they engage in those amounts of risk, others get caught. It is an unfortunate circumstance that requires the help of a Virginia drug trafficking lawyer’s experience crafting defenses.
Multiple defendants mean there are multiple levels of individuals that know what is going on and multiple people can talk about the actions of others. Any time that a person is charged in a case where drugs and multiple defendants are involved, a person needs to be on their toes, because at any moment, the government might make an offer for one of their co-defendants to testify it is that person, and that is when things can change dramatically, and need a very strong defense.