The worldwide illegal trading of substances regarding the farming, production, distribution and trading of substances subject to drug offenses and violations is a billion dollar business that has been growing. Various agencies are continuously monitoring and researching drug markets throughout numerous countries to attempt to gain a complete understanding of their methods. With updating technology, these procedures may have some success in reducing or eliminating this drug business in many areas.
Levels or categories are set for certain drugs and crimes dealing with drugs to better explain how severe some are when involving the law. Level one or schedule one means the drug has no medicinal value known by the medical community or administration and has a very high potential for abusing the drug. Schedule or level two through five are varying degrees of dangerous to less dangerous with the potential for abuse in lesser amounts. The lower on the scheduling or leveling system, the greater chance the drug is used for medical reasons. When applied to illicit substances, the greater chance penalties are harsher than when the number is lower.
Charges for Drug Trafficking
Often, similar criminal court cases have dissimilar outcomes based on various factors and statutes a person is charged with based on what crimes were committed. It is important that the right crime is charged in order for the prosecution to ensure accurate and specific details and witnesses. If the person has been issued charges for a different crime, this is often enough for him or her to have a dismissal. This would ensure a case is lost, and the person is set free at least temporarily. With enough evidence, witnesses, documentation and details, the prosecution should have enough to try a case that law enforcement provided.
A previous case court in State v. Sanchez provided the acknowledgment that it is of the utmost importance to charge a defendant with the correct and proper charge. This is particularly of concern when dealing with drug trafficking crimes. However, a state’s district court of appeals may reverse the decision the trial court issued due to various interpretations of laws. The more details provided, and the more specific charges are, the more likely the appeal becomes more difficult.
Drug Trafficking and Prescription Drugs
Drug trafficking charges may extend beyond the various cartels and drug businesses to ordinary citizens or professionals. A medical practitioner such as a nurse or physician may choose to sell prescription drugs with or without the proper prescription. The selling of such drugs as painkillers, anti-depressants and similar substances has been an issue. One case found a nurse selling drugs such as OxyContin for extra money. She has been selling these medical pills with bad prescriptions or with a prescription that was not valid.
When the case went to trial, there were some issues with the charges filed by legal representatives and law enforcement. Some sections of law had no stipulations about medical professionals and drug trafficking. The specific guidelines dealing with these crimes provided penalties with a range of up to first-degree felonies and corresponding punishments when a conviction occurs. However, another statute did provide for medical practitioners that intentionally write and sell prescriptions that are not valid. These crimes are considered third-degree felonies. However, in this particular case, the nurse was subject to the first-degree felony because she is not a physician. This meant she was not exempt from that exact charge and law based on her specific case. The judge agreed she should have been charged as a medical professional due to her career, and the charges were dropped.
Drug Trafficking as Status I
No matter who is charged with drug trafficking, Status I has more severe outcomes with conviction than other status levels. These are often charged based on what and how much of the drugs are trafficked to different areas. Penalties are often at the third through first-degree felony level with all equivalent punishments that usually include jail or prison terms, fines, programs for rehabilitation when addiction is involved and similar consequences.