How is Drug Distribution Different from Drug Trafficking?

How is Drug Distribution Different from Drug Trafficking?

Crimes concerning drugs are a common occurrence in Philadelphia. Issues of drug distribution and drug trafficking are not new. However, terms used when referring to such crimes can, at times, be confusing. Some of the most confusing terms happen to be drug distribution and drug trafficking. Most people are not able to distinguish between distribution and trafficking. 

If you face either drug distribution or drug trafficking charges, you should consult with an attorney to help you understand the various factors determining which category a drug crime falls. Our criminal defense attorneys in Philadelphia can help you gain clarity on the kind of charge you are facing and further help you build a competent defense for your case.

What is drug distribution?

The selling, importation, or transfer of drugs is legally referred to as drug distribution. With such a definition, it is almost impossible for someone to get a clear distinction between distribution and trafficking. Most times, when someone is caught in possession of a huge amount of cash and drugs, there is a high likelihood that the individual might be arrested and charged with a drug distribution charge. In such a charge, various factors get to determine the penalty that one is bound to face. Some of the factors include; the amount of drugs, age of the recipient, and criminal record regarding drugs, e.t.c.

What is drug trafficking?

One of the things that can make it easy to understand drug trafficking is finding an answer to the question; what determines whether a crime falls in the trafficking category and not drug distribution? The most common distinguishing factor is the weight of the drugs that one is caught with. For example, in Philadelphia, where one is caught with more than 5 grams of cocaine, their charge will be drug trafficking. Therefore where the amount of cocaine is less than 5 grams, an individual might be charged with possession of drugs with intent to distribute. The weight varies for various controlled substances; hence it is important to consult a competent Philadelphia drug crimes lawyer for insights on what weight qualifies a drug charge to fall in either drug trafficking or distribution.

The main distinction between drug distribution and drug trafficking

The main distinction between the two most common drug crimes in Philadelphia being drug distribution and drug trafficking is the weight. Therefore someone caught distributing, manufacturing, or in possession of drugs that meet a certain weight can be charged with drug trafficking.

The misconception that drug trafficking only involves cross-border movement of drugs is finally cleared. Even those caught with controlled substances in their homes can be charged with drug trafficking as long a certain weight is involved. Always remember that crimes involving controlled substances can either be prosecuted under state law or federal law. Serious drug charges are most likely to end up in a federal court. Therefore it is in your best interest that you engage the services of a lawyer.