If you have been charged with a drug crime and you have heard the word ‘smuggling’ being used, you might wonder: Can smuggling and Trafficking be used interchangeably? The answer is ‘yes,’ they are both used to describe the same crime: the act of transporting drugs from one area to another. Drug trafficking laws deal with the purchasing, delivering, transporting, importing, and transferring of drugs to other sources.
When you have been charged with a crime of drug smuggling, it is under the premise that you have carted an illegal drug to a different region, state, or country where they were not permitted to be. Most of the popular types of drugs that become part of drug smuggling crimes every year include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA, and methamphetamine. Smuggling and trafficking are a lot more serious than crimes of possession, which refer to you simply having the drug on your body.
Drug Smuggling: A Felony Crime
In California, smuggling and trafficking crimes are charged as felonies, which are the most serious crimes under California law. Of course, how severely you are charged will depend upon what type of drug was part of the crime. Of course, a marijuana trafficking sentence may only lead to 3-15 years in prison, while a heroin sentence may land you 3-25 years in prison and heftier fines. And, of course, drug smuggling offenses aren’t just charged on a state level most of the time – they can also be charged on a federal level. This means that you could be facing incredibly harsh penalties and years in prison for your crime.
People who are convicted of these crimes must also undergo asset forfeiture, which means that they are required to return any assets, property, and money obtained while trafficking drugs. This means that, any assets you have obtained throughout your crimes, will not be returned to you.
Drug smuggling or trafficking crimes are very serious crimes with hefty penalties that could affect the rest of your life. If you have been charged, you may be wondering how you can move forward with your life. It starts with a criminal defense attorney who understands your case – so give us a call at the Law Office of Peter Blair today.