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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?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

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

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Posted

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.

Randy William Ferguson

Randy William Ferguson

Posted

As Mr. Davis said, the law says mixture, but that does not mean you cannot argue to a jury that it was less than 28 grams. Sometimes even such an argument can help in getting a charge reduced if it is close to 28 grams.

Asker

Posted

in your experience are all individuals treated justly no matter race and status of citizenship? 5 months past still waiting on the indictment is this standard? also i am by no means a lawyer but i have read the longer the case is drawn out the weaker the case gets and is more likely to be thrown out. is this accurate information? and if so how long is "drawn out" enough to dismiss and does this ever happen with trafficking cases?

Randy William Ferguson

Randy William Ferguson

Posted

There is no way of saying everyone is treated the same. They are not. It depends on you, the prosecutor, police and your attorney. Some counties get cases to the grand jury within weeks, some others take months or even years. Remember grand juries do not meet every month in most counties. Sometimes the longer they drag out the better. Witnesses and officers move and/or retire. Every case is different.People with the same charge often get different results. Does your county have any diversion type course you might could qualify for. Sometimes they will amend charge to let you go to a course. The stop/search and/or warrant also need to be investigated by your attorney.

Asker

Posted

thats the thing according to the DA its not public record yet so i cannot access the information and the PD cant get the warrants and what not until the indictment has come back from the Grand Jury and gets back into circuit court. words out of his own mouth state " we are not going to file for the paper work until we know for sure we are going to trial and not taking a plea" i would love to be able to get him a decent attorney but with 2 children on my own i cant afford it. so in the mean time we wait. and hope for the best.

Randy William Ferguson

Randy William Ferguson

Posted

You normally file for discovery to see how good a case they have before you decide to do a plea. If they have a poor case, why would you plea. Unsure why preliminary hearing was not done before the grand jury got it. You should know what they have by now. The case is dead while in grand jury.

Posted

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."

Posted

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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