Santa Fe Drug Trafficking Lawyers
Proven Santa Fe Drug Trafficking Attorneys Ready To Serve You
Santa Fe is situated just north of Albuquerque, right off of Interstate 25. As a result, the city sees a significant amount of drug trafficking crime. According to the United States Justice Department, the most common drugs trafficked across New Mexico are methamphetamine and heroin. Most of these drugs come in from Mexico. From there, traffickers transport the drugs throughout the state and across the country. Due to the high rate of Santa Fe drug trafficking activity, police are constantly on the lookout for suspicious behavior. However, police often overstep their bounds when investigating New Mexico drug trafficking crimes.
What Constitutes Drug Trafficking in Santa Fe?
When the topic of drug trafficking comes up, most people think of drug mules and the various cartels in Mexico and South America. Indeed, these are examples of drug trafficking. However, the term drug trafficking covers the manufacturing, sale, bartering, or even giving away of narcotics. Thus, even low-level street dealers can be charged with a Santa Fe drug trafficking crime.
However, not all drug possession offenses are classified as drug trafficking. It depends on the type of drug. For example, trafficking includes:
- The manufacture of any Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV narcotics;
- Distribution or sale of methamphetamine or a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic; and
- Possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine or a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic.
Thus, while the manufacturing of a Schedule III narcotic would be charged as a drug trafficking offense, the mere sale of the same Schedule III narcotic would not necessarily be considered drug trafficking, depending on the amount in question.
How the Government Proves Drug Trafficking Charges
While most drug trafficking charges rely on evidence of an actual sale, drug trafficking charges often rely solely on someone being caught with the drug. In other words, drug trafficking crimes may not be based on an observed sale. Thus, one of the most common questions those facing Santa Fe drug trafficking charges have is how the government can prove someone’s intent to traffic drugs if there were no observed sales.
The answer is that the government can rely on circumstantial evidence that someone intended to traffic drugs. For example, if police arrested someone with a small packet of heroin, it would be difficult for the government to argue they had the intent to sell because one packet of heroin could be for personal use. However, compare that situation to one in which someone has a Ziploc bag of bulk heroin, a scale, and 200 small baggies. In this scenario, the government will argue that even in the absence of an observed sale, the circumstantial evidence supports a finding that the defendant intended to sell the drugs.
Circumstantial evidence of drug trafficking can be difficult to refute. But in some circumstances, it can be done. There are several defenses to Santa Fe drug trafficking charges.
Defenses to Santa Fe Drug Trafficking Charges
When it comes to defending against drug trafficking charges, the most common defense is a motion to suppress. When a defendant files a motion to suppress, they are asking the court to preclude certain evidence from the trial because law enforcement seized it in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. Most often, motions to suppress in drug trafficking cases involve unreasonable searches or seizures.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that law enforcement have probable cause (or reasonable suspicion, depending on the scenario) to stop and search a person, their car, or their home. If a police officer fails to articulate the facts they relied on or the officer’s belief was an unreasonable one, the court must suppress any drugs they recovered.
Contact an Experienced Santa Fe Drug Trafficking Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you have recently been arrested and charged with a Santa Fe drug trafficking crime, reach out to the dedicated Santa Fe drug trafficking attorney at the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices. With more than 22 years of experience defending the rights of clients charged with all types of drug possession, distribution, and trafficking, we know what it means to hold the prosecution to their high burden. Our lawyers recognize the stress and anxiety that having a serious drug trafficking case hanging over your head can cause, and we will do everything we can to fight for your freedom. To learn more about how we can help you defend against the crimes you are facing and to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense legal practitioner, give us a call. You can also contact us through our online form, and one of our attorneys will contact you.