Trafficking illegal drugs in Oklahoma is a crime that not only carries heavy prison terms, but also heavy fines. And though you may not think of yourself as a drug trafficker, the law in Stillwater, Oklahoma may disagree.
Being charged with trafficking illegal drugs in Oklahoma depends in large part on how much of the illegal drug is in your possession, custody, or control when you are caught with it. The intent to sell is inferred directly from the amount in your possession.
The Basics of Drug Crimes in Stillwater
In order to understand how to resolve a charge of trafficking illegal drugs, you need to understand how Oklahoma treats drug crimes in general and traffickers in particular. Until recently, Oklahoma had some of the strictest drug laws in the nation. In 2017, Oklahoma made simple possession of any illegal drug or controlled dangerous substance a misdemeanor. Simple possession is now a misdemeanor. However, traffickers are still punished severely.
Oklahoma classifies all controlled dangerous substances — including all illegal drugs and all prescription drugs not obtained pursuant to a valid prescription — according to a system of schedules that categorizes these substances according to addictive risk.
The riskier the drug, the harsher the consequences for trafficking. Okla. Stat. tit. 63 §§ 2-204 et seq.
What Constitutes Trafficking in Oklahoma?
Let’s say you are driving through the state and have some drugs with you. You are headed to a get-together with old friends and have enough drugs not only for you, but also for them.
Your taillight is out, so you get stopped. During the stop, the police think you have drugs on you and search the car and find your stash.
If you are in possession of enough of a scheduled drug, you could be convicted of drug trafficking. It doesn’t take much of a substance to be convicted of trafficking illegal drugs.
Here are some threshold amounts for a trafficking charge:
- Marijuana: 25 lbs;
- LSD: 1 gram;
- Cocaine: 28 grams or 50 dosage units;
- Methamphetamine: 20 grams;
- PCP (phencyclidine): 28 grams or 1 ounce;
- Ecstasy (MDMA): 10 grams or 30 tablets;
- Heroin: 10 grams;
- Morphine: 1,000 grams;
- Oxycodone: 400 grams;
- Hydrocodone: 3,750 grams; and
- Benzodiazepines: 500 grams.
Okla. Stat. tit. 63 § 2-415
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing segment of the illegal drug trade. As such, prescription drugs have been added to the list of illegally trafficked drugs subject to penalties.
Defenses to Trafficking Illegal Drugs
Many of these convictions happen as a result of an automobile or other stop and search. If stopped, never give consent for a search.
If you don’t give permission for the search and the police do not have probable cause to search, the search may be deemed illegal. Thus, the drugs found could be excluded from evidence. Illegal searches and seizure form the basis for many of the defenses used in drug cases.
At trial, your Stillwater felony defense attorney may press the court to make the prosecution produce the actual drugs seized. Drugs can get misplaced or become lost. If the prosecutor cannot physically present the drugs seized, the charges may be dismissed.
Penalties for Trafficking Illegal Drugs
Penalties vary depending on the substance, the quantity of the substance, and the number of prior convictions. The prison terms are at least twice those for distribution.
That means that for a first offense, depending on the substance, you could face a minimum of 4 years imprisonment in addition to staggering fines. Life in prison is also a possibility, even for a first-time offense.
After two convictions, you could face life without parole.
In addition, drug trafficking convictions are not eligible for probation. If convicted, you will not be eligible for a suspended or deferred sentence. The penalties depend on the drug involved and the amount you are caught with.
Here are some examples of fines that may be imposed for the amounts specified above:
- Marijuana: $25,000 to $100,000;
- Methamphetamine: up to $200,000;
- Cocaine: up to $100,000;
- Heroin: up to $50,000;
- LSD: up to $100,000;
- PCP: up to $ 50,000;
- Morphine: up to $500,000;
- Oxycodone: $500,000;
- Hydrocodone: $500,000; and
- Benzodiazepines: $500,000.
Finally, you should be aware of the practice of forfeiture. Oklahoma law allows the state to seize cash and other property that is connected to a crime. While this area of the law is somewhat complicated, know that if your assets have been seized, an attorney can help.
There are defenses available to you. Get the help you need from a Stillwater criminal defense attorney.
Free Consultation with a Stillwater OK Attorney
Wirth Law Office – Stillwater is here to help you when you need it the most.
We offer a free consultation with an experienced Stillwater OK attorney to help you defend your legal rights. Don’t try to handle your legal matter by yourself.
Call 405-673-1600 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.