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What Are the Differences Between Drug Distribution and Drug Trafficking Charges?

What Are the Differences Between Drug Distribution and Drug Trafficking Charges?

The terms drug distribution and drug trafficking are often used interchangeably, but there are some slight differences between the two terms that you should understand if you are facing charges for either crime.

Below is a little bit of information about each type of crime to help you better understand the differences between drug distribution and drug trafficking.

Drug distribution

Drug distribution generally refers to a crime in which a person sells, delivers or provides controlled substances illegally. Arrests most often occur in drug distribution cases when a person attempts to sell illegal drugs to an undercover police officer.

Drug trafficking

Drug trafficking refers to the illegal sale or distribution of any type of controlled substance. While trafficking cases often involve moving illegal drugs across state lines and quickly get moved up to federal courts, trafficking cases have much more to do with the amount of drugs involved in the crime and less to do with whether it takes place in multiple states. In fact, in a drug trafficking case, the drugs themselves don’t need to have moved at all. A possession of a large enough amount of illegal drugs could become a trafficking case rather than a possession case, just as the distribution of a large enough amount of drugs could turn a distribution case into a trafficking case.

The consequences for both trafficking and distribution crimes depend on the type of substance involved, the criminal history of the defendant and where the defendant was apprehended. Location is important, because penalties will be much more severe if the defendant was apprehended on, say, school grounds or government property.

If you face charges for either drug distribution or drug trafficking, meet with a knowledgeable Cleveland-area drug defense attorney at the Law Office of Gregory S. Robey.


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