Trafficking in Marijuana
A trafficking and marijuana charge occurs when an individual possesses marijuana with the intent to distribute and the amount is sufficiently great that it rises to the level of trafficking rather than distribution.What is the difference between a trafficking charge and a distribution charge?
The difference between a trafficking and distribution charge is essentially the amount of marijuana that is possessed and believed to be possessed with the intent to distribute. So what differentiates a charge of trafficking from one of distribution, is ultimately the quantity.
Even if the defendant claims that the sezied drugs were for personal use, the ultimate deciding factor will be the weight of the drugs Commonwealth v. Luis A. Gonzalez (2006). As defendants may live in homes with other people, it is important for the defense to determine exactly how much of the overall sezied amount belongs to the defendant, and not to co-defendants or anyone else who had access to the home.Outlined below are the consequences for trafficking marijuana, cocaine and/or opiates.
Trafficking cocaine has higher potential penalties than trafficking marijuana, due to cocaine being a more serious and addictive drug.Legal Defenses
All of the defenses to a charge of intent to distribute, also apply to a trafficking case. To learn more about constitutional defenses, see our pages:
In regards to defenses specifically related to trafficking, because the amount is a critical element of the case, the defense strategy must focus on demonstrating that the possession falls below the ranges which define the sentence severity. In some cases, though plea negotiation, the DA may agree to amend a charge down to a lesser level in exchange for a concession. For example, if you possessed 50 grams, it is possible a defense attorney could persuade the Attorney General to amend it to an offense level with a lower manda- tory minimum sentence. If the case is going to be fought in court, a key part of the defense strategy involves the defense attorney filing a motion to suppress- getting evidence excluded that may otherwise increase the amount of how much was possessed, and thus the penalty.
If it is clear that the defendant possessed the amount of narcotics, whether heroin, marijuana or cocaine, then the defenses are really going to pinge on a motion to suppress, saying that the search was invalid, the informant was unreliable, that the police should never have searched or seized the house, or if it was a
The attorneys at DelSignore Law handle drug charges throughout Massachusetts and can be reached directly at 781-686-5924 if you have any questions about your case.