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An Oklahoma drug trafficking attorney specializes in defending clients facing charges of drug trafficking or aggravated trafficking. Drug trafficking defense lawyers use specific strategies to protect the rights of their clients, ensuring they receive a fair trial while achieving the best possible outcome in their legal case.
Drug trafficking involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances which are subject to the Oklahoma Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Act. These illegal drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, PCP, cocaine-base or “crack,” fentanyl, and ecstasy. These laws outline the factors such as weight and intent that constitute drug trafficking charges, as well as the punishments for drug trafficking and aggravated trafficking. These laws are codified in Oklahoma Statutes §63-2-415. The punishments for drug trafficking in Oklahoma range from fines to imprisonment.
Those facing drug trafficking charges should contact an experienced drug trafficking lawyer for effective defense strategies.
A the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C. in Oklahoma City, we have experience in fighting every aspect of drug charges. When the case hinges on an illegal stop or an unconstitutional search, our attorneys will exhaust every avenue to review all of the officer reports, dash-camera videos, and canine credentials in order to protect our clients’ Fourth Amendment rights. If there are no search and seizure issues, our lawyers can work to mitigate the case.
We have had success in getting drug trafficking cases amended down to possession with intent, which removes the 50% or 85% mandatory sentence provision. Our lawyers have had success in suspending the ridiculously large fines that come with convictions. If all else fails, we have experience litigating trafficking in illegal drugs cases at preliminary hearing and jury trial.
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug trafficking or aggravated trafficking in Oklahoma, time is of the essence. You need an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney, and you need one right now. Contact one of the defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C. We are ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.
An experienced drug trafficking lawyer utilizes specific defense strategies to help those facing charges of trafficking or aggravated trafficking in Oklahoma. These strategies may lead to reduced charges, reduced fines and prison time, or the dismissal of charges. With this in mind, it is extremely important to hire an attorney who has handled drug trafficking cases all across the state of Oklahoma. Below are some effective methods of fighting drug trafficking charges in Oklahoma.
The Fourth Amendment shields individuals from unwarranted searches and seizures. Individuals can consult a defense attorney to assess potential law enforcement violations of their constitutional rights during drug trafficking investigations or arrests. If unlawfully obtained evidence is involved, the attorney can file a motion to suppress it, potentially weakening the prosecution's case.
The chain of custody refers to the documentation that tracks the movement and handling of law enforcement's evidence (drugs, money, etc) from the time it is collected to its presentation in court. An experienced drug trafficking attorney examines the chain of custody to determine if there were irregularities. Any mishandling or tampering with evidence can cast doubt on its integrity, potentially leading to the evidence being inadmissible in court.
Challenging the weight of the drugs or the intent of the defendant is an effective defense strategy because the prosecution must demonstrate that the substances in question meet the legal standards for drug trafficking. An experienced trafficking attorney will scrutinize the accuracy of the reported weight of the confiscated drugs, as even a slight disparity can affect the severity of the charges. In regards to intent, a lawyer can contest the prosecution's ability to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant's intention to distribute or traffic the drugs, necessitating proof of the defendant's knowledge and involvement.
Creating alternative explanations for the discovery of drugs is an effective defense strategy. A lawyer specializing in drug trafficking cases may argue that a defendant was unaware of the drugs, or were unwittingly or by threat of force, coerced into acting as a courier. A credible alternative storyline serves to cast doubt in the minds of the jury or judge.
Scrutinizing law enforcement's practices is an effective defense strategy because it can highlight questionable practices or patterns of misconducts such as racial profiling or a history of unreliable testimony. This weakens the credibility of the prosecutions case by casting doubt on their witnesses and evidence.
Oklahoma's drug trafficking laws are outlined in the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act, which was last amended on Nov 1, 2021. The Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act outlines the controlled substances and their respective quantities that result in the escalation of drug charges from possession to trafficking. It also outlines the controlled substances and their respective quantities that result in charges of aggraved drug trafficking.
Any person who manufactures, transports, or sells controlled substances can be charged with drug trafficking by law enforcement agencies such as local police, sheriffs, or the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control (OBNDD). Those facing
The weight of illegal drugs that qualifies as trafficking in Oklahoma varies depending on the type of controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Marijuana is measured in pounds, while drugs such as heroin and cocaine are measured in grams.
The list below contains the minimum weights or quantities of illegal drugs to constitute drug trafficking charges according to the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act of Oklahoma.
Prosecutors often file cases based solely on the amount of narcotics discovered; it does not matter whether the individual was transporting, selling, or distributing the narcotics. As such, it is one of the most difficult drug charges to defend.
In Oklahoma, aggravated trafficking charges are based on the amount or weight of the drug the individual allegedly possess. Generally aggravated trafficking charges involve larger amounts (weight or quantity) of illegal drugs. Aggravated trafficking charges can also stem from the circumstances surrounding the drug seizure. If a defendant is caught while with a minor or near a school zone or park, the prosecution may seek aggravated trafficking charges.
Aggravated charges carry the same punishment ranges as simple trafficking. This is good news for those facing charges, as individuals facing aggravated trafficking previously faced a mandatory minimum of fifteen (15) years in prison.
Even though the punishment ranges are the same for simple trafficking and aggravated trafficking, there is one very important difference. Aggravated trafficking is considered an 85% crime: a convict will not receive earned credits until 85% of the sentence has been served, and he or she will not become eligible for parole until 85% of the sentence has been served. This crime carries a fine as well, and anyone convicted of the crime can expect to pay up to $500,000.00.
Not all controlled dangerous substances can lead to aggravated trafficking charges. Only the possession of certain amounts of marijuana, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and MDMA can result in someone being charged with aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs.
Moreover, being caught in certain locations can also enhance penalty ranges for trafficking and aggravated trafficking charges. If an individual is caught with trafficking or aggravated trafficking weight in the presence of a minor or in certain proximity of a school, park, or other similar location, he or she can face even more harsh punishment than that listed above.
Below are the weights or quantities that constitute aggravated trafficking of illegal drugs charges in the state of Oklahoma.
Quantities of CDS at or above these levels can result in aggravated drug trafficking charges which may carry more significant penalties than simple trafficking.
In Oklahoma, the difference between drug trafficking and aggravated trafficking is determined by the quantity (weight) and type of illegal substance involved. Aggravated trafficking is considered an 85% crime: a convict will not receive earned credits until 85% of the sentence has been served, and he or she will not become eligible for parole until 85% of the sentence has been served.
In Oklahoma, the primary difference between drug trafficking and distribution lies in the scale and severity of the offense. Drug trafficking typically involves the illegal possession, transportation, or sale of large quantities of controlled substances, often leading to felony charges with severe penalties. By contrast, drug distribution generally involves the unlawful sale or transfer of smaller amounts of controlled substances. Drug distribution can result in varying degrees of charges, including felonies and misdemeanors, depending on the specific circumstances and the amount of the substance involved.
The sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking in Oklahoma range from fines to prison time. Fines and prison sentences are based on factors such as the type and weight of the drugs involved, the criminal history of the defendant, the intent of the defendant, the strength and admissibility of evidence presented by the prosecution, and aggravating factors such as getting arrested in the presence of a minor or near a school zone.
The prison sentences for drug trafficking in Oklahoma vary based on the type and weight (or quantity) of the illegal drug involved, and the defendants past criminal record. The guidelines outlined in the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act are listed below.
Second and third violations require serving at least 50% of the sentence before being eligible for parole consideration.
The fines for simple drug trafficking in Oklahoma vary based on the illegal substance involved. The list below contains the fines for trafficking various controlled dangerous substances in Oklahoma.
The amount of the fine is determined by the circumstances of the arrest, including past arrests of the defendant, and the location in which they were caught with the illegal substance.
The fines for aggravated drug trafficking in Oklahoma vary based on the illegal substance involved. The list below contains the fines for aggravated trafficking various controlled dangerous substances in Oklahoma.
The amount of the fine can be tied to the circumstances of the arrest including the record of the defendant, and the location in which they were caught with the illegal substance.
In Oklahoma, the penalties for a first-time offender convicted of drug trafficking can include prison time and monetary fines. A first offense for trafficking in illegal drugs carries a prison sentence of zero to twenty years in prison. They may also face fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, a first-time offender who is convicted of drug trafficking marijuana in Oklahoma could face a fine between $25,000 and $100,000.
A second violation of the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four years of jail time to a maximum of life. A third or subsequent trafficking conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years of jail time and a maximum penalty of life in prison.