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Drug trafficking versus drug possession

Any time a Connecticut resident is found in possession of illegal drugs or prescription drugs without a valid prescription, drug possession charges may result. Whether or not the person is charged with drug trafficking, intent to sell or drug distribution depends on the substance, amount of substance present and whether there were any additional items or large amounts of cash indicative of the intent to sell the drugs.

Drug trafficking or distribution is not just a street crime, as some people think. Doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers can be accused of unlawful drug distribution if they are thought to be providing controlled substances to people without prescriptions and a medical need for the drugs. Possession of a large amount of any type of illegal or controlled substance can result in drug trafficking charges, whether it be marijuana, heroin or prescription painkillers.

Drug trafficking charges are much more serious than those for drug possession. Drug trafficking is a felony, punishable by a lengthy prison sentence. Defendants often find themselves dealing with both state and federal agencies. A drug trafficking conviction can have a significant impact on a person's life even after any prison time has been served, and may impact where the person can work and live.

Which defense strategy is the best choice for the situation depends on the details of the case. Options can include, but are not limited to, challenging the evidence or search warrant, arguing that the substance was not the defendant's or agreeing to a plea deal for lesser charges or penalties. Connecticut criminal defense attorneys experienced with handling drug charges can advise clients on the best way to proceed depending upon their individual situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Trafficking/Distribution" Aug. 31, 2014

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