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Statewide Representation Throughout Alabama (205) 871-8838
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Drug charges in the United States comprise a significant portion of all criminal prosecutions. While charges against small-time drug dealers can sometimes be dropped, the stakes grow increasingly more severe as the quantity of drugs increases.

With the recent rise in opioid abuse across the nation, prosecutors will likely be spending more time on these cases than others in the coming months and years. Any individual charged with a volume dealing offense could benefit from speaking with a qualified drug defense attorney. Retaining a Birmingham volume dealer lawyer who is trustworthy and knowledgeable may make all the difference in your case.

Understanding the State Court Charges

Drug trafficking refers to the cultivation, manufacturing, production, and distribution of illegal substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and many types of opioids. Prosecutors often vigorously pursue charges against supposed volume drug dealers to discourage others from assuming that role in a criminal enterprise.

In fact, a significant number of all arrests are drug-related. According to the FBI, over 1,500,000 arrests were made for drug law violations in the United States in 2016.

Mandatory Minimums

Certain laws carry a minimum requirement for incarceration if certain criteria are met. These mandatory minimum laws are the subject of widespread criticism because judges cannot lower the sentence even if there are extenuating circumstances, such as being a youthful offender or a first-time offender.

Under Birmingham law, convictions for drug trafficking offenses carry a mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence and a mandatory fine of up to $25,000. For convictions involving 100 to 500 pounds of marijuana or 500 grams to 1 kilogram of cocaine, the courts must impose a mandatory minimum of five years. For 500 pounds to 1,000 pounds of marijuana, the mandatory minimum is fifteen years.

Sentencing is often higher than the minimum charge and can result in sentences ranging from twenty-five years to life. A Birmingham volume dealer lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.

Federal Charges and Double Jeopardy

Cases involving large-scale narcotics operations are unique in that they can result in both state and federal charges. This does not violate the double jeopardy rule, since an individual that violates both state law and federal law can be convicted in both jurisdictions.

Federal charges are typically more severe than state court charges. Under Title 21 of the United States Code, Section 841, an individual could face life imprisonment or a fine of up to $1,000,000 for a drug trafficking offense. Conspiracy laws complicate criminal trials involving multiple defendants and charges because almost everyone convicted of a drug trafficking crime could face mandatory minimums of five to ten years in prison.

Contacting a Birmingham Volume Dealer Attorney

Criminal charges involving high-volume drug trafficking charges have serious implications because of the potential period of incarceration and monetary penalty involved. Even individuals with a small role in a large criminal enterprise could be subject to years of incarceration due to mandatory minimums and drug conspiracy laws.

It is often wise to be careful about relying on government-appointed attorneys to represent you in your criminal case. These lawyers are often overburdened with dozens of other cases that require attention. Their cases may go weeks or months without any work being done on them because the legal aid attorney is forced to spend time defending cases with upcoming trial dates.

With your life and liberty at stake, you may be better served by an experienced Birmingham volume dealer lawyer. Call today to discuss your legal options and what steps you should take to prepare your defense.