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How pure does a drug need to be to be charged with trafficking?

Tuscaloosa, AL |

just curious as to how pure the drug needs to be when being charged with a trafficking charge. for instance it takes 28 grams of cocaine to be trafficking. what if it has been "cut" numerous amounts of times then theoretically it wouldnt be a whole 28 grams of cocaine more like a few grams here and there with the additives. when receiving the toxicology report does it tell how pure the drug is and in turn if it shows its not exactly that pure could the charges be changed to something else?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Purity is a non-issue in Alabama as the code in 13A-12-231 clearly says mixture.

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  2. Very good question. Normally it does not show how pure the drug is, only the weight. I would get an attorney to defend the case. You may need to hire an expert chemist to help defend the charge. If you you have questions, feel free to call me at any time. I have handled numerous trafficking case.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.


  3. You've got it backwards. The more the drug is cut the more likely it is being used for trafficking, unlesss we are talking about very small, individual user amounts. Anyway, criminal statutes generally do not measure the amount of the active drug but rather the amount of the "substance containing" the active drug. As Bill Clinton used to say, "That dog won't hunt."


  4. In federal court, purity doesn't matter. Most of the statutes (21 USC 841/846, etc.) as well as the guidelines state that a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of whatever drug you are dealinng with is enough to trigger a certain level of severity in sentencing. However, I've seen purity levels used to differentiate between role enhancements in determining the presumptive guidelines once there has been a conviction for possession with intent to distribute or for the federral drug conspiracy.

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