Hampton Roads, VA Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyers
Our law firm knows what to do
When it comes to drug charges in Virginia, perhaps the most serious charge you can face is drug trafficking. If you are convicted of drug trafficking, you will likely spend many years behind bars and be fined thousands of dollars.
A drug trafficking conviction can change your life forever. That’s why it’s critical that you talk to an experienced Virginia drug crime defense attorney right away. That’s why we want to meet with you at Welch & Wright, PLLC right away.
Our Norfolk, VA drug trafficking attorneys know the laws and understand how the legal system works when it comes to such criminal charges. Our in-depth knowledge comes from our trial lawyers’ extensive courtroom experience representing people charged with such drug crimes.
What is drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking refers to the sale or transportation of larger quantities of controlled substances, the legal term for certain drugs controlled by the government because they can be potentially harmful.
The primary law governing drug trafficking charges in Virginia is Virginia Code 18.2-248.01. Drug trafficking is a felony and applies to the transportation of the following amount of controlled substances into the Commonwealth of Virginia:
- More than 1 ounce of heroin, ecstasy, and other Schedule I Controlled Substances.
- More than 1 ounce of cocaine, opium, methamphetamine (“crystal meth”) and other Schedule II Controlled Substances.
- 5 pounds or more of marijuana.
What is the difference between drug distribution and drug trafficking?
In general, the difference comes down to the amount of controlled substances someone is charged with selling or transporting in Virginia. Lower amounts often involve drug distribution charges. Larger amounts of controlled substances that meet the weight limits as outlined in Virginia’s drug trafficking laws are charged as trafficking.
But many times, there are discrepancies concerning whether someone should be charged with drug distribution or drug trafficking. And this can be a big deal since drug trafficking charges have much more severe penalties than drug distribution charges.
Penalties for drug trafficking conviction in Virginia
Drug trafficking charges are felonies. A felony is a criminal charge that results in a prison sentence of at least 12 months. If someone is convicted of drug trafficking in Virginia, the penalties often vary depending on several factors, including the quantity of drugs, whether someone has been previously convicted of drug trafficking and the schedule classification for the controlled substance. Such penalties can be found in Virginia Code 18.2-248.01.
First drug trafficking conviction
- 5 to 40 years in prison, including a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years.
- Fine of up to $1 million.
Second drug trafficking conviction
- Mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years which must be served in addition to any other prison sentences.
Common legal defenses for drug trafficking charges
Drug trafficking cases are often extremely complicated – and not just for the individuals charged with drug trafficking. Police and prosecutors need to clearly prove that someone actively engaged in drug trafficking. That means that law enforcement officials need evidence that shows that someone transported large quantities of controlled substances.
Our Virginia drug charge defense lawyers often successfully defend people charged with drug trafficking in several different ways, including:
- The quantity of drugs seized in drug trafficking arrest are smaller than the amount required to charge someone with drug trafficking.
- The drugs seized in the drug trafficking arrest do not belong to the person charged with drug trafficking.
- Reasonable doubt exists concerning whether someone intended to engage in drug trafficking.
How to get drug trafficking charges dismissed
There are many different ways experienced defense attorneys can successfully have your drug trafficking charges dismissed in Virginia, including proving:
- The search and seizure of the drugs was conducted illegally.
- The police violated your constitutional rights during your arrest.
- The drugs seized during arrest were being possessed by someone else.
- You had the right to legally possess the drugs seized during your arrest.
- You were not engaged in drug trafficking.
Take your drug trafficking charge seriously. Contact us
The clock is running after your drug trafficking arrest. Police and prosecutors continue to actively investigate your case after your arrest in search of more evidence. You need to do the same. You need someone on your side working to find evidence in support of your legal defense.
Our dedicated legal team at Welch & Wright, PLLC in Norfolk knows exactly what to do. Our trial lawyers understand how Virginia’s legal system works. We know the state’s drug laws. When you have our attorneys by your side in court, you can be confident that we will vigorously fight for your rights and your freedom.