There are many criminal offenses in Nevada and California related to illegal drug activities. Trafficking is the most serious of these crimes and, as a felony offense, carries the harshest penalties for a conviction. If you have been arrested for cocaine trafficking, having experienced defense representation may be crucial to protect your rights and avoid or reduce criminal penalties. Reno cocaine trafficking lawyer William J. Routsis handles complex drug cases for defendants in California and Nevada. He is prepared to give his clients and their cases the attention that they deserve and fight for the best possible outcome.Cocaine Trafficking Crimes in Nevada
Trafficking is a crime that involves a substantial quantity of certain controlled substances, including cocaine. Under Nevada law, drug trafficking is broadly defined to include essentially any activity in which the amount of a controlled substance is above a threshold amount. Accordingly, cocaine trafficking is committed when a person knowingly or intentionally sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into Nevada a certain quantity of cocaine, or of any mixture containing cocaine. Cocaine trafficking may also be charged if you are knowingly or intentionally in actual or constructive possession of cocaine, or of any mixture that contains cocaine, and the quantity involved is over a certain amount. Unlike simple possession and some other drug crimes, a trafficking charge requires a significant quantity of drugs, which is specified by law.
Recent legislation has made changes to the threshold amounts of drugs that constitute trafficking, the category of felony, and the penalties for a trafficking conviction. Effective in July 2020, the new Nevada trafficking laws establish separate criminal offenses for low-level trafficking and high-level trafficking. As a cocaine trafficking attorney in the Reno area, William J. Routsis is familiar with these laws. For low-level trafficking in cocaine, the quantity involved must be at least 100 grams, but less than 400 grams. Low-level cocaine trafficking is a category B felony. The penalties that may be imposed for a low-level cocaine trafficking conviction include a prison sentence between two years and 20 years, in addition to a maximum fine of $100,000.
High-level cocaine trafficking involves 400 grams or more. High-level cocaine trafficking is a category A felony in Nevada and carries the most severe penalties. A conviction of high-level cocaine trafficking may be punishable by either a life prison sentence, with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 10 years served, or a definite prison term of 25 years, with eligibility for parole after 10 years have been served. A defendant may also be fined up to $500,000 for a high-level cocaine trafficking conviction.Fighting a Cocaine Trafficking Charge
The appropriate defense strategy to fight a cocaine trafficking charge will depend on the facts and evidence in the specific case. To get a conviction, the prosecution must present proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant trafficked cocaine. A Reno cocaine trafficking attorney may argue that the state has not met its burden by exposing weaknesses in the state’s evidence. The defense may also aim to get inadmissible evidence thrown out before the trial. For example, if the cocaine was obtained in an illegal police search, or if the police interrogated the defendant before reading the Miranda rights, the court may rule that the evidence or statements may not be used at trial. A drug crime attorney can examine the details of your specific case to identify the potential defenses to a cocaine trafficking charge.Retain a Reno Defense Attorney
If you are facing charges for cocaine trafficking or another criminal offense related to controlled substances, William J. Routsis can provide trustworthy advice and skilled representation. Mr. Routsis assists people in many areas of Nevada and California, including Reno, Carson City, Susanville, Winnemuca, Elko, Quincy, Lake Tahoe, and South Lake Tahoe. Take the first step to defend against a drug charge by arranging a free consultation with a skilled cocaine trafficking lawyer in the Reno area. Call our office at (775) 337-2609 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.