What Makes the Crime One of Drug Trafficking?

Statistics published by the Nevada Department of Public Safety show that in 2011 law enforcement agencies made a total of 17,723 arrests for drug-related offenses in Nevada, of which 3,015 arrests were for the sale and manufacturing of drugs. In other words, these drug-related crimes contributed to more than 17 percent of all drug arrests in Nevada, higher than both Arizona and Utah, where arrests for sale and manufacturing contributed only 15 percent and 11 percent respectively of all drug arrests in 2011. Nevada has strict drug trafficking laws which lay down severe penalties for convicted offenders.

Nevada law states that you can be arrested for drug trafficking if you knowingly or intentionally sell, manufacture, deliver, bring into Nevada or are in possession of controlled substances of a specific quantity. The necessary quantity for which you can be arrested and the penalties for a conviction depend on the particular drug:

  • Flunitrazepam (roofies), gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and other schedule I substances other than marijuana, such as heroin and ecstasy. The minimum quantity to constitute trafficking is four grams, for which you can be imprisoned for up to six years and face a fine of up to $50,000. Larger quantities can lead to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000.
  • Marijuana. The minimum quantity to constitute trafficking is 100 pounds, for which you can be imprisoned for up to five years and fined up to $25,000. Larger quantities can lead to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $200,000.
  • Schedule II substances such as cocaine. The minimum quantity to constitute trafficking is 28 grams, for which you can be imprisoned for up to five years and fined up to $50,000. Larger quantities can lead to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

The key differentiator between drug trafficking and minor drug offenses is the quantity. If you have been arrested for drug trafficking, make sure you contact a determined Nevada criminal defense attorney to fight the charges against you or negotiate lesser charges.

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