An interstate drug stop, whether lawful or unlawful, will inevitably happen to some drivers when traveling across state lines. As the quantity of drugs you are accused of possessing goes up, so do the penalties for such charges. Larger quantities are commonly referred to as “trafficking.” Cutting off the supply of the commerce drug trade is one of the more significant roles the local state law enforcement and the federal government plays in the “War on Drugs.”
Interstate Drug Stop Penalties
An interstate drug stop can have significant ramifications. Even a minor drug conviction can have a serious impact on a suspect's future, from their livelihood and opportunities, to employment, loans and leases. A serious charge, such as possession with the intent to distribute, can destroy any hopes of retaining normalcy, as you can spend years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and lose your property due to search and seizure.
Both federal and state laws have very specific penalties for the various levels of drug possession, and it often depends on the “schedule” of drugs apprehended. Some illegal drugs in certain quantities and amounts carry their own mandatory minimum sentencing, meaning you must serve a certain amount of time if convicted.
First offenses for possession with intent to distribute marijuana can carry a minimum sentence of one year and a maximum sentence of 20 years. Harder drugs like heroin, cocaine or methampthamine can result in a sentence of up to 50 years or even life imprisonment, depending on the quantity possessed.
Interstate Drug Stop Defense
For those involved in an interstate drug stop, the law can be confusing and you may have questions about whether the arresting officer acted within the law or violated your rights. The primary evidence for the prosecution is always the confiscated drug itself. A skilled defense lawyer can file motions to suppress the evidence for any mistake that the police made in procedure while conducting a search to find the evidence. Without the critical evidence, the prosecution’s case may not have sufficient evidence and the case could be reduced or dismissed.
A skilled attorney will investigate all of the circumstances surrounding your case, including whether you first gave the police officer reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Once it has been established that the police officer had probable cause, did you, in fact, give the proper consent to be searched or did law enforcement have to issue a warrant? These questions need to be explored and answered before they have a case against you.
Interstate Drug Stop Lawyer
An interstate drug stop can lead to an arrest and sometimes an infringement of the Constitutional rights of drivers. If you have been pulled over as a drug suspect, you need the effective defensive action only Stockmann Law can provide to protect your rights. Dan Stockmann was noted as a top 40 trial lawyer in 2013, is a member of Nebraska Bar Association, and has 20 years of experience in criminal defense. Choose Stockmann Law to effectively assert your rights and keep you from serving a lengthy jail sentence.