While some states have legalized the use of some drugs, that does not mean authorities have pulled back on finding and charging people with the illegal distribution and trafficking of drugs. For those who face such charges, the ramifications can be significant and long reaching.
If you or a loved one face such criminal charges, it may be beneficial to learn more about certain important aspects of the charges. Particularly in the case of drug charges, there is a significant difference between distribution and trafficking.
In regards to a drug operation, distribution is the act of exchanging illegal substances for some form of payment. Though it does not always have to be the case, this does usually involve money, though weaponry is also another common form of payment within certain organizations. Considering this, the authorities must catch a party in the act of distribution, or during the exchange, to execute distribution charges successfully.
Trafficking illegal substances is the transportation of the product. This may include going across town or to another state. It is important to note that the amount of the illegal substance and its classification both weigh into determining the penalties that parties may face.
Though distribution and trafficking are related, they are still two different acts. Therefore, they are separate charges. As different charges, they have different proving processes. While authorities must show proof of the physical act of trafficking, proving the act of distribution does not have to be as literal. Showing proof of distribution may be finding the necessary paraphernalia to conduct the act, such as supplies and bags, or evidence of the transaction, such as large quantities of money.
Though the charges are separate, it may be possible for parties to face both charges. Whether you face one or both charges, weighing your options with a knowledgeable legal professional can aid in making the best decision in your particular situation.