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Drug trafficking laws make distribution of drugs a felony

If you are suspected of selling, transporting or illegally importing an illegal substance, you could face drug distribution charges. Drug trafficking or distribution is considered a felony and results in more serious penalties than the possession of an illegal substance. Even if you have not participated in the distribution process, if you are in possession of illegal substances, you could still be charged with distribution if police believe that you intended to distribute them. In many cases, people facing drug distribution charges have a large amount of illegal drugs or cash on them at the time of their arrest.

Drug distribution laws apply to a variety of substances, from marijuana, cocaine and heroin to prescription drugs such as sleeping pills or painkillers. Virginia statutes classify controlled substances at different levels, otherwise known as schedules. For example, cocaine is considered to be a Schedule II controlled substance whereas marijuana falls under Schedule I.

Federal laws, as well as Virginia laws, will be considered when charging someone with drug trafficking or distribution. While the laws were originally meant to deter drug cartels, even petty drug dealers can face severe consequences and years of jail time. Drug distribution and trafficking convictions can result in anywhere from 3 to 5 years to life in prison. The severity of the consequences will depend on what drugs were involved, where they were being distributed and whether children were solicited.

Drug distribution can result in severe penalties but with the right defense, people facing these charges may be able to reduce these penalties or have their charges dropped.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Trafficking/Distribution," accessed on Sept. 1, 2015

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