Drug Trafficking Charges in Belen, New Mexico
Belen Drug Trafficking Lawyers
The term “drug trafficking” refers to the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of illegal or restricted substances such as banned recreational drugs (heroin or methamphetamine, for example) and prescription drugs (Fentanyl or Valium, for example). Mere possession of certain amounts of these substances can be prosecuted as drug trafficking. If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Belen, you are in big trouble – but the situation is not hopeless.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences
“Mandatory minimums” are minimum periods of incarceration that a judge must apply once you are convicted of a certain crime, regardless of whether the judge thinks the sentence is too hash. Drug trafficking is subject to mandatory minimum sentencing in New Mexico, and most drug trafficking offenses are also subject to mandatory minimums under federal law as well. Depending on the offense, mandatory minimums can range from 5 years to life in prison.
Trafficking in drugs within certain exclusion zones around schools, parks, daycare centers, and recreational facilities, or using a minor (under 18) in drug transactions can result in increased penalties. These penalties remain even if you didn’t realize, for example, that you were inside a school zone or that the person used as a “drug mule” was a minor.
Trafficking in Marijuana
Marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in many states, but New Mexico is not one of them (at least not yet). Although marijuana has been legalized for medical use, that fact is not likely to help you fight a marijuana trafficking charge any more than the fact that OxyContin is legal for medical use would help someone charged with trafficking OxyContin. Trafficking in marijuana is a felony under New Mexico law, and it is also a federal offense.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can my sentence be increased simply because the offense took place near a school?
Any area within 1,000 feet of primary or secondary school is a drug-free school zone. If you are convicted of drug trafficking in a drug-free school zone, your sentence could be greatly increased, even if the prosecutor has no evidence that you intended to sell drugs to students. This law is quite controversial in some quarters, but it is regularly enforced.
I have been charged with possession with intent to distribute. What does “possession” mean, specifically?
You possess an illegal drug if:
- You have physical control over it (it does not have to be on your person), and
- You know that you hold, or you hold it intentionally.
The practical reality is that, once you are caught with drugs on your person or in your home, it will be up to you to prove that you didn’t know it was there.
What are some major errors I might make during a criminal prosecution?
There are too many to count. Some of the most common are:
- Trying to represent yourself
- Waiting too long to contact a criminal defense lawyer and begin preparing your defense
- Confessing : Never, ever confess to a crime – these are police officers, not priests
- Giving the police permission to search your home or your property
- Talking to the police without your lawyer present, even if you are innocent
- Discussing your case on social media
Can the police search my car or my home without a warrant?
Sometimes they can, sometimes they can’t. Although the general rule is that a warrant is required, this rule is shot through with more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese. It is usually easier for the police to justify a search of your car than a search of your home, and it is almost always appropriate for the police to search your property if you give them consent.
Get Started Today
At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, hundreds of our clients have seen complete acquittals and many more have seen years shaved off their sentences through our efforts. If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Belen, New Mexico, or if you are being investigated for such an offense, don’t delay seeking legal assistance. That would be like delaying medical treatment after you have been diagnosed with cancer.
Call our Belen drug trafficking lawyers now or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment where we can look at your case, discuss your options, and recommend a course of action. We can even visit you in jail if you need us to. We serve clients from De Soto, Hilltop, Mesa and Aragon, Valencia, and elsewhere in Belen.