Drug Trafficking Lawyer: What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in New Mexico?
If you have been charged with a drug trafficking crime, you need an experienced drug trafficking lawyer on your side representing you throughout your case. An attorney will be able to help safeguard all of your legal rights while your case is pending, and can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Definition of Drug Trafficking Under New Mexico Law
Under New Mexico law, drug trafficking is a felony offense and involves “cultivating, manufacturing, transporting, or distributing” illegal drugs – either within the state, across state lines, or across national borders. Moreover, an individual may still be charged with drug trafficking, even in the absence of any attempt to sell or distribute the drug, if he or she possesses a large enough amount of the illegal substance to presume that there was an intent to sell or distribute the drug.
Penalties Upon Conviction
New Mexico law does not treat drug trafficking convictions lightly. If you are convicted of drug trafficking, you could receive any or all of the following penalties:
- Substantial fines
- Lengthy prison sentences
- Loss of the right to:
- own a gun or other firearm
- hold public office
A drug trafficking conviction also results in a criminal record. Convicted felons oftentimes have difficulty finding and keeping a job, finding a place to live or rent, and/or gaining admission to an educational institution, such as a college, university, or trade school.
A skilled drug trafficking lawyer may be able to help you eliminate or decrease these potential penalties upon conviction.
State and Federal Drug Trafficking Convictions
State and federal drug trafficking convictions are penalized differently. Under New Mexico state law, drug trafficking is a second degree felony and is punishable by up to 9 years in prison for a first offense. A second offense is punishable by 18 years in prison. Increased penalties may apply if the drug trafficking offense occurs in certain designated drug-free areas. These areas include the following:
- Day care facilities
Increased penalties may also apply if the drug trafficking offense involves a minor or a group of minors.
Whenever a federal law enforcement agency investigates a drug trafficking offense, the offense involves multi-state activity, or the quantity of drugs in question meets the federal threshold, then the drug trafficking crime may constitute a federal offense.
A federal drug trafficking conviction may result in a prison term of between 5 and 40 years. A non-citizen may be deported following a conviction for drug trafficking.
Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges
As with all crimes, several defenses are available to defendants charged with state or federal drug trafficking crimes. An experienced drug trafficking lawyer will be able to help you formulate potential legal defenses to your charge. For example, one possible defense to a drug trafficking charge is illegal search or seizure, pursuant to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Contact a New Mexico Drug Trafficking Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Both state and federal drug trafficking charges incurred in New Mexico and elsewhere are serious business. If you have been charged with a state or federal drug trafficking crime, contact a drug trafficking lawyer at The Twohig Law Firm today by calling 505-898-0400.