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The difference between drug distribution and trafficking

| Nov 4, 2021 | Drug Charges

Some terms in the criminal justice system can be confusing. For instance, is drug distribution the same as drug trafficking? 

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are some slight differences between the two. 

How is trafficking different from distribution?

Distribution is the act of selling or transferring controlled substances. If the police catch you attempting to move drugs in any way, you may find yourself facing distribution charges. Notably, you do not have to be caught in the act of exchanging drugs for cash to be arrested for distribution. 

If you are caught carrying a large amount of drugs and money, you may face charges of possession with intent to distribute.

While the movement of drugs determines distribution, trafficking is determined by the weight of drugs. For trafficking charges, the controlled substances do not have to be going anywhere. As long as they attain a certain weight, you can find yourself facing trafficking charges. In addition, it is possible to be charged for both trafficking and distribution, and the sentence depends on several factors, including:

  • The amount of drugs in question
  • The age of the people or person receiving the drugs
  • Whether your actions caused bodily harm to others

Whether you’ve been previously convicted of drug crimes may matter as well.

Drug charges are pretty serious

If you are facing any types of drug charges, you need to take your case very seriously. You are possibly staring at years behind bars or hefty fines. It is, therefore, necessary to mount a serious defense in your case to ensure the chances of a favorable outcome. 

You may employ several defense strategies that could help your case. In addition, learning more about what the law says regarding the drug charges you are facing could save you a lot of trouble, and it will also help protect your legal rights.