Trafficking is the highest level of all drug charges. A conviction for trafficking carries substantial prison time, difficult parole situations, and oftentimes a larger than life fine. Ryan Brown, based in Newnan, Georgia handles drug trafficking cases across the state of Georgia. To be convicted of drug trafficking prosecutors must come into court and prove essentially two elements of a crime. The first element of trafficking is that you either: 1) possessed; or 2) delivered; or 3) or manufactured; or 4) distributed the alleged drug. The second element is that you did one of those four things with a certain quantity of drug. The quantity varies from drug-to-drug.
Many trafficking cases in Georgia originates on the highways that take people through our wonderful state. I-85 travels directly through LaGrange and Newnan, GA up to Atlanta. I-20 comes from Atlanta and passes through Douglasville, Carroll County, Villa Rica, and Bremen. Because of this, drug trafficking cases are exceptionally common in the West Georgia area. Law enforcement units throughout the Coweta Judicial Circuit, as well as Douglas and Haralson counties have unique units decided to try and stop drug trafficking on the highways.
All trafficking charges are somewhat dependent on the amount of illegal drugs involved. The quantity of drugs affects the range of punishment, applicable fines, and even impacts parole guidelines.
Trafficking Cocaine - O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31(a)
Trafficking cocaine requires that the defendant possess as little as 28 grams of cocaine or a mixture of cocaine (a mixture that is at least ten percent cocaine). The levels are as follows:
Quantity is 28 Grams or More and Less Than 200 Grams
In Georgia, if you are convicted of Trafficking between 28 and 200 grams of cocaine then the mandatory minimum sentence is ten years to serve and the maximum is thirty years in the state penitentiary. The fine for this level is $200,000.
Quantity is 200 Grams or More but Less Than 400 Grams
If convicted of trafficking in Georgia of 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams, then the punishment range increases. For this quantity of cocaine the minimum prison sentence is 15 years, the maximum is thirty, and the fine increases to $300,000.
Quantity is 400 Grams or More
The highest level of trafficking cocaine is 400 grams or more. If convicted of trafficking in this amount the range of punishment is narrow, but it is substantial. Upon conviction, you face 25-30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Trafficking Morphine, Opium, Heroin - O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31(b)
Morphine, Opium, Heroin, are among the drugs that are easiest to mistakenly traffic. That is for one particular reason, many people assume that the quantity of drugs required for trafficking is in the hundreds of grams, however, for morphine, opium, and heroin a mere four grams constitutes trafficking.
Quantity is 4 Grams or More But Less Than 14 Grams
If convicted of trafficking 4 grams or more but less than 14 grams, then you face a minimum punishment of five years in prison and a maximum of thirty years. The fine associated with this level of trafficking is $50,000.
Quantity is 14 Grams or More But Less Than 28 Grams
If convicted of this quantity of trafficking then both the fine and minimum punishment double. Thats right - an increase from 13.99 grams to 14.00 grams of heroin will double the minimum prison sentence from five years to ten years and double the fine from $50,000 to $100,000.
Quantity is 28 Grams or More
If convicted of trafficking heroin, opium, or morphine in Georgia then you are facing a a sentence of between 25 and 30 years and also a $500,000 fine.
Trafficking Marijuana - O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31(c)
Marijuana trafficking requires a higher quantity (by quite some margin) of drugs then any of the other trafficking crimes. Like all of the other crimes there are certain levels of punishment depending on the crime
More than 10 Pounds, but less than 2,000 Pounds
Yes. This particular range starts at ten pounds and reaches all the way to just shy of one whole ton! The minimum punishment for this level of marijuana trafficking is five years in prison. Additionally, there is a $100,000 fine associated with a conviction for this level of marijuana trafficking.
Quantity is 2,000 Pounds or More, but less than 10,000 Pounds
As the quantity increases so do the punishments. For this 8,000 pound range of marijuana trafficking the minimum punishment is seven years in prison, the maximum is thirty, and there is a quarter-of-a-million dollar fine associated with a conviction for this.
Quantity is 10,000 Pounds or More
The maximum range for marijuana trafficking requires five tons of marijuana or more. A conviction in this range requires a minimum sentence of fifteen years and a $1,000,000 fine.
Trafficking Methamphetamine - O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31(e)
Methamphetamine trafficking is of law enforcement's favorite "busts." Whenever a trafficking in meth arrest is made you often see it in the news with law enforcement officers taking pictures in front of their fancy police cars while they confiscate drugs, money, and property from the people of this state. For this reason, these cases often receive special attention. Take a look at these punishment ranges for meth trafficking.
Quantity is 28 Grams or More But Less Than 200 Grams
For this range of methamphetamine trafficking the minimum sentencing range is ten years in prison and the maximum term of imprisonment is thirty years. The fine associated with a conviction for this violation is $200,000.
Quantity is 200 Grams or More But Less Than 400 Grams
For trafficking meth in this range both the minimum sentence and the fine increase. The minimum prison sentence is now fifteen years and the fine is $300,000.
Quantity is 400 Grams or More
This is the grandaddy of meth trafficking charges. The highest fines, the highest prison sentence. If convicted of trafficking 400 grams or more, then you face a minimum of twenty-five years (a quarter of a century) in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Remember, to be convicted of trafficking the state must only prove the quantity and that you possessed the drugs!
Trafficking charges are no joke. Do not fight against trafficking charges alone, because the prosecutors are certainly taking your case seriously. All defenses must be explored, warrants must be examined, and a strategy must be developed. Contact us today, come meet Ryan, and let's get started.