Drug Trafficking in New Mexico: What you need to know
If you have been accused of drug trafficking in New Mexico, you have been charged with a serious felony. Drug trafficking means that you are doing more than illegally obtaining and possessing a controlled substance. The charge includes transporting, manufacturing, delivering and sale of controlled substances. You may have been charged with moving drugs through the state, across state lines or across international borders.
The penalties you could face for drug trafficking vary depending on the kind of drug trafficked, the amount and whether or not the offense is prosecuted under state or federal law.
To start to understand the penalties, you first need to understand how drugs are categorized by the federal government. Drugs are categorized into five “schedules” depending on the medicinal value and addictiveness of each controlled substance.
Schedule 1 drugs, for example, have been shown to have a high potential for abuse and are labelled “of no medicinal value”—these drugs are generally harder to get. Schedule 5 substances are abused less often, but are termed medically useful—they are generally easier to get. Schedule 1 and 2 drugs fall under the strictest regulation. Following are a few examples of drugs included in each schedule:
Schedule 1: ecstasy, heroin, LSD, marijuana and peyote
Schedule 2: Adderall, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, Ritalin and Vicodin
Schedule 3: anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine and Tylenol with codeine
Schedule 4: Ambien, Darvocet, Soma, Valium and Xanax
Schedule 5: Lomotil, Lyrica, Motofen, Parepectolin and Robitussin AC
Penalties for Drug Trafficking
Drug trafficking can be sentenced under New Mexico law or federal law. Drug trafficking becomes a federal offense when the offense involves quantities of drugs that meet federal thresholds. Currently, even small amounts of drugs are being prosecuted in federal court, with stiffer penalties than those faced in state court.
If convicted of drug trafficking, you can receive a variety of sentences and fines. Many times, but not always, penalties are assessed by substance quantity and follow the previously-mentioned schedule classifications. Under New Mexico state drug law, trafficking is a 2nd degree felony and you could spend up to 9 years in prison if convicted.
Penalties for federal conviction of drug trafficking can range anywhere from a minimum mandatory 10 years to life, minimum of 5-40 years, depending on the quantity and type of drug you have trafficked and 0-20 years if you have trafficked under the threshold amounts that trigger minimum mandatory sentences. Fines can be assessed up to $10 million dollars for an individual for certain classes of drugs with a federal conviction. Penalties are more severe if this is your second offense or if you are a multiple repeat offender. Plus, if you are not a naturalized citizen, you will face deportation if you are convicted.
Get Help from an Experienced Criminal Attorney
Because drug trafficking charges are serious and penalties can be severe, you need help from an aggressive and fearless drug crime defense attorney. Erlinda Ocampo Johnson has years of experience on both sides of the state and federal legal system. To bolster your defense, she will consult with professionals from HR Legal Consultants whose team includes a former federal narcotics law enforcement agent.
Ms. Johnson will use her vast experience and every possible resource to understand your specific charges and skillfully build a case on your behalf. Contact the Law office of Erlinda Ocampo Johnson, LLC today to consult with an experienced Albuquerque criminal defense lawyer.