The opioid epidemic continues to be a major problem for the nation, and law enforcement’s newest focus is fentanyl. Being caught with this potentially deadly drug in your possession can result in severe penalties, but the punishments get even worse if it seems like you possess enough fentanyl to distribute. If you find yourself being charged with fentanyl trafficking, you should consult a Mercer County drug crime lawyer who can help you build a defense and show that a mistake has been made.
What Are the Charges for Fentanyl Trafficking?
Fentanyl possession can already be punished quite harshly, so if you have enough that the state thinks that you are going to distribute then you might be facing a long jail sentence and some expensive fines. Distributing fentanyl is a second degree felony that can result in:
- A jail sentence lasting between five and 10 years
- Ineligibility for probation
- A fine of up to $150,000
The above punishments are for people with between one-half of an ounce but less than five ounces in their possession. If you have more than five ounces, you could be facing a first degree charge and:
- Between 10 and 20 years of jail time
- A fine of up to $500,000
A person convicted of this charge also cannot qualify for parole in the usual way. There is a minimum term of between one-third and one-half of the sentence when the convicted is completely ineligible for parole. So if you get a sentence of 10 years, you are looking at over three years or even up to five years before you can try for parole.
One important thing to remember is that the authorities do not even have to see you distributing drugs or have any evidence of that taking place. They just need to see that you have a certain quantity of drugs in your possession, and then they can decide that you are trafficking them and that you are deserving of these more severe penalties.
How Can an Attorney Help?
When you are facing serious charges like these, you need to make sure that you are doing everything that you can to defend against them. One crucial step you should take is hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help you form the best possible defense and push back against these fentanyl charges on your behalf.
If you were found with fentanyl in your possession while you were driving, we can challenge the traffic stop. If the drugs were found in the search of your home, we can challenge the warrant used to perform the search. If there is anything that we can do to get evidence thrown out and charges dismissed, we do it.
Get Your Free Consultation
If you have been charged with fentanyl trafficking, contact the Law Office of Douglas Herring. We can offer you a free consultation and tell you more about your legal options and what an experienced criminal defense attorney can do for you.