The term drug trafficking may bring thoughts of international drug cartels smuggling copious amounts of narcotics across borders. Yet what it really means is someone caught in possession of 1 gram of LSD – or another illegal drug in specific threshold amounts.
The difference between drug trafficking and possession in Oklahoma has nothing to do with intent. It has everything to do with the amount on hand.
Trafficking a Controlled Dangerous Substance
Oklahoma law provides for various drug charges depending on the type of drug, the amount, and the intent as well as other factors. About 5% of all juvenile arrests were drug-related as were about 14% of all adult arrests in 2020, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Almost 4,400 arrests occurred in Tulsa County alone last year. All drug charges are serious, and defendants can benefit from a skilled defense attorney from Enlow Law.
Trafficking a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Trafficking CDS) carries a greater punishment than Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWI) despite the latter having the intention to sell or distribute the drug. A drug trafficking conviction can lead to a life sentence in prison, depending on the type and quantity of the illegal drug.
Below are the thresholds that will elevate possession of illegal drugs to drug trafficking:
- Marijuana – 25 pounds
- Cocaine – 28 grams
- Crack Cocaine – 5 grams
- Heroin – 5 grams
- Methamphetamine – 20 grams
- PCP – 1 ounce or about 28 grams
- LSD – 1 gram
- Ecstasy (MDMA) – 5 grams or 30 tabs
Oklahoma statutes were amended to have specific penalties for prescription drugs in light of the opioid epidemic. The state legislature passed a bill in 2014 that added the four most commonly abused prescription drugs.
Quantity triggers for trafficking prescription drugs are as follows:
- Oxycodone – 400 grams
- Benzodiazepine – 500 grams
- Morphine – 1,000 grams
- Hydrocodone – 3,750 grams
Not All Trafficking CDS Charges Carry the Same Punishment
Punishment ranges for each trafficking offense based on the dangerousness of the specific drug.
Penalties for drug trafficking in Oklahoma are as follows:
- Marijuana: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 4 years to life
- Cocaine or Crack: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 4 years to life
- Heroin: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 4 years to life
- Amphetamine: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 4 years to life
- Methamphetamine: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 4 years to life
- MDMA (“Ecstacy”): First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 0-20 years
- Morphine: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 0-20 years
- Oxycodone: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 0-20 years
- Hydrocodone: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 0-20 years
- Benzodiazepine: First offense, 0-20 years in prison; second offense, 0-20 years
Depending on the drug, fines can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Subsequent drug convictions are particularly severe when a third felony offense is committed within 5 years of the date following the completion of a previous felony sentence.
Out Early for Good Behavior
Getting out of prison early by earning credits is possible, but limited, for drug convictions. A convicted drug offender cannot earn credit to reduce their time behind bars to less than 30% of the sentence given to them by a judge or jury. Subsequent offenders must serve at least half of their sentence before being eligible for parole.
More Jail for Aggravated Trafficking
Those convicted of aggravated trafficking are found guilty of possessing extreme amounts of illegal drugs. For example, 1,000 pounds of marijuana will receive an aggravated charge as will 28 grams of heroin, and 5 grams of LSD. They must serve at least 85% of their sentence imposed by the judicial system before being considered for parole. Stiffer fines are also assessed. This charge is a violent felony. There can also be enhanced sentences if you are caught with the drugs in the proximity of a school or park.
Serious Charges Require Serious Representation
Trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious criminal charge. Our attorneys at Enlow Law have more than 30 years of combined legal experience in representing clients facing charges that carry devastating penalties. The sooner we are involved with your case, the better positioned we will be to fight for your freedom and your future.
If you are facing drug trafficking or other criminal charges, contact us right away. Call (918) 212-5359 to schedule a free initial consultation.