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Idaho Drug Trafficking

IDAHO DRUG TRAFFICKING. HERE'S WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU'VE BEEN CHARGED.

Have you been charged with Drug Trafficking in the State of Idaho?

If so, you probably already know these are very serious charges that could carry years of prison time if you are convicted. J.W. Bond Law is here to help get you through this most difficult time and fight for you when you need it the most. Here is some general information to get you started. 

DRUG TRAFFICKING

The outcome of your case and the potential penalties you're facing will depend on many factors. The two most important factors are: what substance were you allegedly trafficking? And second: how much weight of that substance can the prosecution prove you trafficked?

  1. Idaho Marijuana Trafficking

Trafficking in marijuana is defined as any person that knowingly manufactures, delivers, or brings into Idaho, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, one (1) pound of marijuana or more, or twenty-five (25) marijuana plants or more, as defined in section 37-2701, Idaho Code, is guilty of a felony, which felony is known as "trafficking in marijuana."

This means that you do not need to actually traffic drugs to be guilty of trafficking; possession of a sufficiently large amount of marijuana means you are guilty of trafficking, regardless of any other considerations, and regardless of what you intended to do with it, even if it truly was all for personal use. 

The penalties for Idaho marijuana trafficking are serious. Some would argue they are draconian, especially when many other states have legalized recreational marijuana. 

If the quantity of marijuana involved is one (1) pound or more, but less than five (5) pounds, or consists of twenty-five (25) marijuana plants or more but fewer than fifty (50) marijuana plants, regardless of the size or weight of the plants, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of one (1) year and fined not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

If the quantity of marijuana involved is five (5) pounds or more, but less than twenty-five (25) pounds, or consists of fifty (50) marijuana plants or more but fewer than one hundred (100) marijuana plants, regardless of the size or weight of the plants, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of three (3) years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

If the quantity of marijuana involved is twenty-five (25) pounds or more, or consists of one hundred (100) marijuana plants or more, regardless of the size or weight of the plants, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of five (5) years and fined not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

The maximum number of years of imprisonment for trafficking in marijuana is fifteen (15) years, and the maximum fine is fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

  1. Idaho Cocaine Trafficking.

Like marijuana trafficking, Idaho cocaine trafficking includes manufacturing, delivering, or bringing into Idaho over 28 grams of cocaine. Likewise, you can be charged with “trafficking” just for possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine, regardless of what you intended to do with the drugs.

The penalties for cocaine trafficking are severe and depend on the quantity involved.

If the quantity involved is twenty-eight (28) grams or more, but less than two hundred (200) grams, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of three (3) years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

If the quantity involved is two hundred (200) grams or more, but less than four hundred (400) grams, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of five (5) years and fined not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

If the quantity involved is four hundred (400) grams or more, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of ten (10) years and fined not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

The maximum number of years of imprisonment for trafficking in cocaine is life, and the maximum fine is one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

  1. Idaho Methamphetamine Trafficking.

Unlike marijuana and cocaine trafficking, there are essentially two different categories of methamphetamine trafficking. First is methamphetamine manufacturing, which is its own special category of trafficking.

Any person convicted of trafficking in methamphetamine and/or amphetamine by attempted manufacturing is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of two (2) years and not to exceed fifteen (15) years imprisonment and fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Any person convicted of trafficking in methamphetamine and/or amphetamine by manufacturing is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of five (5) years and not to exceed life imprisonment and fined not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

In the second category, any person who knowingly delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of twenty-eight (28) grams or more of methamphetamine or amphetamine or of any mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine or amphetamine is guilty of a felony, which felony is known as "trafficking in methamphetamine or amphetamine."

If the quantity involved is twenty-eight (28) grams or more, but less than two hundred (200) grams, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of three (3) years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

If the quantity involved is two hundred (200) grams or more, but less than four hundred (400) grams, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of five (5) years and fined not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

If the quantity involved is four hundred (400) grams or more, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of ten (10) years and fined not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

  1. Idaho Heroin Trafficking.

The same harsh penalties apply for heroin trafficking. Any person who knowingly manufactures, delivers or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, two (2) grams or more of heroin or any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, or two (2) grams or more of any mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of any such substance is guilty of a felony, which felony is known as "trafficking in heroin."

If the quantity involved is two (2) grams or more, but less than seven (7) grams, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of three (3) years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

If the quantity involved is seven (7) grams or more, but less than twenty-eight (28) grams, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of ten (10) years and fined not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

If the quantity involved is twenty-eight (28) grams or more, such person is sentenced to a mandatory minimum fixed term of imprisonment of fifteen (15) years and fined not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

The maximum number of years of imprisonment for trafficking in heroin is life, and the maximum fine is one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

HOW CAN WE HELP DEFEND YOU AGAINST A DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGE?

If you have been accused of trafficking of a controlled substance with an intent to deliver, or with actual delivery, do not panic. This does not necessarily mean that the prosecutors will be able to convict you. Here are some common defense strategies that J.W. Bond Law may be able to implement in your case, depending on your particular facts:

  1. You Did Not Actually Possess the Controlled Substance.

It is the State's burden to prove possession, beyond the statutory trafficking weight, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to prove you are guilty of drug trafficking. There are often ways to raise doubt about possession. In many cases, drugs might be found in a room surrounded by several people, or in a vehicle with several individuals present. If the defense can cast reasonable doubt as to whether you (or in fact someone else) possessed the drugs you allegedly trafficked, you could be found not guilty.

  1. You Did Not Know You Possessed the Alleged Substance.

Possession of a controlled substance is a general intent crime requiring that the defendant knowingly possess the substance.  The purpose of the intent element in the definition of a possession offense is to separate innocent, accidental, or inadvertent conduct from criminal behavior.  In order to secure a conviction for possession the state must prove that the defendant knowingly possessed the controlled substance. 

There are two possible strategies when it comes to the “knowledge” defense. One defense is that perhaps you had drugs  in your bag, but you had no idea how they got there. Maybe a friend stashed them in your bag without your knowledge. If so, you did possess the alleged substance, but you did not do it knowingly. 

A second defense would be you knew you possessed some substance, but did not know it was a controlled substance. This would apply to a situation where a friend asked you to hold on to an legal substance, which unbeknownst to you was actually a controlled substance. For example, someone gives you a can of tobacco to carry, but unbeknownst to you, the tobacco is actually not tobacco at all, but an illegal controlled substance. 

  1. The Prosecution Overestimated the Weight of the Controlled Substance.

One way to fight a trafficking charge is to prove that the government is alleging more weight in drugs than you actually possessed. You need a defense attorney that can investigate and challenge every step of the weighing process law enforcement utilized in your case. Our attorneys can challenge the government's scientific methods and possibly ensure that the drugs are re-weighed by an independent third party.

  1. Law Enforcement Violated Your Rights.

Even if the State can prove you knowingly possessed a controlled substance, and even if they prove that the amount of the substance is over the trafficking weight, they might be unable to convict you if the evidence against you was obtained by law enforcement in violation of your Constitutional rights. 

You have rights under the United States Constitution and the Idaho Constitution. If you retain J.W. Bond, he will examine every potential violation of your rights and determine if the evidence against you can be suppressed. This could be for several reasons, but the most common are: the cops illegally pulled you over, they extended your traffic detention without cause, they searched your vehicle without probable cause, they searched your person unlawfully, or they invaded your home without a warrant. Any of these would be grounds for drastically improving the outcome of your case.

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