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Albuquerque Trusted Drug Trafficking Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense Attorneys Aggressively Fighting Drug Trafficking Charges for New Mexico Residents

Drug trafficking is a felony charge that applies to cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, or distribution, of illegal drugs, whether within the state, across state lines, or across national borders. Possession of a large enough amount of an illegal substance is presumed to be for the purpose of selling it, and even in the absence of any attempt to sell or distribute the drug, you can be charged with trafficking simply because you have been caught holding it.  An Albuquerque drug trafficking defense lawyer can defend your legal rights if accused of drug trafficking.

If you are convicted of drug trafficking, it could potentially land you in prison for years, along with substantial fines, not to mention the loss of your right to vote, own a gun, or hold public office. Society imposes additional penalties if you have a felony criminal record: You’ll have difficulty finding employment and housing, and may not be admitted to some colleges and universities or if you are, you will probably not qualify for financial assistance.

New Mexico law enforcement officers aggressively pursues arrests and convictions in drug trafficking cases involving those controlled substances with the highest potential for abuse, particularly methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. In light of the extremely harsh penalties that come with a conviction, if you’re facing a drug trafficking charge, you need a knowledgeable and highly skilled drug crimes attorney to enforce your rights and fight the charge.

Penalties for Drug Trafficking State vs. Federal Charges

The penalties you could be facing on a drug trafficking charge will depend on whether it is prosecuted under New Mexico state law or under federal law. In New Mexico’s criminal justice system, trafficking is a 2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 9 years in prison for a first offense. A second offense can send you away for 18 years.

In addition, if you are accused of any drug trafficking activity in specially designated drug-free areas, including in the vicinity of schools, daycare centers, or parks, or any drug transaction involving a minor, you will be subjected to enhanced penalties.

Drug trafficking is charged as a federal offense when it has been investigated by a federal law enforcement agency, when it involves activity in multiple states, or if the quantity of drugs meets the federal threshold. A federal conviction where a large amount of drugs is involved can bring you a prison term of between 5 and 40 years. If you are not a United States citizen, you can be deported following a drug trafficking conviction.

New Mexico Criminal Defense Law Firm

A drug trafficking prosecution can be an intimidating experience, at least without a seasoned New Mexico criminal defense attorney by your side. Criminal court, whether at the state or federal level, is not much like what you might see on “Judge Judy” or “Law and Order.” Rules of evidence and criminal procedure are complex and arcane, and both prosecutors and police have a bag of tricks up their sleeve.

Meanwhile, your freedom and your reputation are on the line. When you are faced with the possibility of years or even decades behind bars, you are going to need a professional to guide you through the criminal justice system maze. At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we won’t play games with your future.

We Don’t Back Down

The New Mexico criminal justice system is adversarial to its core. That reality renders a prosecution something like a war, in which every detail matters and even a small mistake can be disastrous. At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we offer the bold and aggressive representation that a criminal prosecution calls for. We know all the tricks because we have seen them before many times.

Individualized Representation

One lesson that twenty years of criminal law practice has taught us is that no two cases are exactly alike. A criminal case is composed of a labyrinth of abstract fact patterns. Out of these fact patterns, new applications of existing criminal law can be used to construct a defensive wall that the prosecution will find difficult to penetrate. Never forget – ultimately, all you need is reasonable doubt.

We will look deeply into the fact patterns that make up your case, listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and conduct a thorough investigation. In this way, we can craft a legal strategy that is tailor-made to the exact details of your case and your individual concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How are drug trafficking penalties calculated?

Many factors go into calculating drug trafficking sentences, including:

  • What kind of drug you were caught with
  • How much of the drug you were caught with
  • Where you were caught – penalties are harsher if you are caught carrying drugs over the border or distributing them in a “drug-free zone.”

What are “mandatory minimums?”

Mandatory minimums” are minimum lengths of federal prison terms for certain offenses, including drug trafficking. If you are subject to a mandatory minimum of five years, for example, you will be ineligible for parole or probation for five years. Certain loopholes exist, however.

Can I get drugs excluded from evidence even if they were seized with a warrant?

This is possible if the search warrant was defective in some way. A search warrant must establish “probable cause” and several other requirements. A search warrant is particularly likely to be invalid if its text contains lies, errors, or significant omissions.

What is the federal “statutory safety valve?”

The statutory safety valve is an exception to mandatory minimums that allow a convict to be sentenced to less than the mandatory minimum if:

  • The offense was nonviolent;
  • The defendant played no significant managerial role; and
  • The defendant has little or no criminal history.

What is the entrapment defense?

The entrapment defense applies when law enforcement personnel induce someone to commit a crime that probably never would have occurred otherwise. If this defense applies, charges will be dropped or the defendant will be acquitted. The entrapment defense is designed to prevent the police from initiating crimes just so they can arrest you for participating in them.

Professionals in Your Corner

New Mexico Criminal Law Offices is small – just the two of us, plus our incredibly dedicated support staff.  We are certainly not a mega-firm whose clients are treated like case numbers unless they are celebrities or mob bosses. We will approach your case with the same care and concern that we would exercise if we were the ones being prosecuted.

Our stellar record in defending our clients has won us the respect of judges and prosecutors alike, although we must admit (proudly!) that prosecutors find us quite frustrating at times. Our approach works – comparing original charges versus ultimate results, we have saved our clients a cumulative total of literally thousands of years of prison time.

It’s Time to Fight Back

If you are being investigated for drug trafficking anywhere in New Mexico, or if you have already been charged with a drug trafficking offense, call us at 505-375-4765 or fill out our online contact form for a free initial consultation on your case. The clock is ticking.