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DRUG TRAFFICKING SUMMARY:
Drug Trafficking occurs when a person sells, or attempts to sell, drugs or possesses drugs with the intent to distribute them.
DRUG TRAFFICKING IN OHIO:
Drug Trafficking, while similar to Drug Possession, adds a new, more serious element to the drug offense. Further, an individual may be charged with Aggravated Drug Trafficking.
WHAT IS DRUG TRAFFICKING?:
The offense of Trafficking is committed when a person knowingly, and without legal authority: (1) sells or offers to sell a controlled substance or controlled substance analog; OR (2) Prepares for or ships, transports, delivers, prepares for distribution or distributes a controlled substance or controlled substance analog, when the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the substance is intended for sale or resale by the offender or another individual. The Ohio Statute for drug trafficking is R.C. 2925.03 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2925.03 . Trafficking is a felony, the degree of which depends upon the type of drug and the amount of the drug.
WHAT IS AGGRAVATED DRUG TRAFFICKING?
If the drug involved in the offense is included in Schedule I or II (but not marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, hashish, and controlled substance analogs), the offense is Aggravated Trafficking. Aggravated Trafficking is usually a Felony of the 4th degree, but can be a Felony of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree depending on the amount of drug involved and whether the offense was committed within the vicinity of a school or juvenile.
CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION FOR A DRUG TRAFFICKING OFFENSE:
Like drug possession, a conviction for drug trafficking has serious consequences such as the potential of imprisonment, the imposition of a fine and the forfeiture of property. Under federal law, any individual convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year is prohibited from possessing a firearm. See, 18 U.S.C. 922(g) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922 . Under state law, any individual formally charged with, or convicted of, felony drug trafficking is prohibited from possessing a firearm. See, R.C. 2923.13 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.13 .
WERE YOUR RIGHTS VIOLATED?
Many drug trafficking cases are charged following a search and seizure by police, such as a traffic stop, or a “stop and frisk,” or through the issuance of a search warrant. These involuntary detentions and searches by police implicate the protections of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under the Fourth Amendment, all persons are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures by police and government actors. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that searches conducted without a warrant, are per se unreasonable.
When the police violate the protections of the Fourth Amendment, the evidence that stems from the violation (an illegal search or seizure) is thrown out under what is known as “the exclusionary rule.”
CALL ZUKERMAN ABOUT DRUG TRAFFICKING
The attorneys of Zukerman, Lear & Murray Co., L.P.A. regularly practice in the area of Fourth Amendment searches and seizures and have a proven track record of calling law enforcement officers out for any unconstitutional conduct, and having evidence against its clients excluded from trial.