Under state law, there is not a specific volume dealer statute. However, volume dealing or trading in a large amount of drugs can impact the penalty range for an accused person. Under Virginia Code §18.2-248, if a person manufactures, sells, gives, distributes, or possesses with the intent to distribute specific amounts of substances, they could face harsh penalties, including mandatory minimum prison sentences.
A simple distribution charge elevates to a volume dealing charge when the amount of the substance reaches a certain weight. Charges for dealing high volumes of drugs may not be as common in Mclean, but they are not so infrequent as to be completely unheard of. If you are facing charges for trading large quantities of illegal substances, you should speak with a McLean volume dealing lawyer for help building a case in your defense. A skilled attorney could assess your situation and determine how to minimize the penalties against you.
Law enforcement may charge someone for dealing in large quantities if they are caught committing a drug crime with:
It is important to note that these are not the only substances and amounts that may result in a volume dealing charge. For cases at the state level, if a person is convicted of dealing in large quantities, this individual may be subject to a penalty range of five years to life imprisonment with mandatory minimum sentences of at least five years. Under federal law, the sentencing range for convicted persons is ten years to life imprisonment.
The mandatory minimum sentence increases as the quantity of the illegal substance does. For example, the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years for a person who manufactures, sells, gives, distributes, or possesses with the intent to distribute 1.0 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin.
However, there are limited circumstances in which these mandatory minimums do not apply. A McLean lawyer working on a volume dealing case could help a defendant mitigate the potential imprisonment sentences depending on the specifics of their case.
Volume dealer cases are investigated in a similar manner as other drug offenses. This means that law enforcement may conduct a lengthy investigation to determine what players and drugs were involved. These investigations similarly tend to include the infiltration of undercover officers and confidential informants to gather information that may be helpful in building a case against accused persons.
Virginia Code §18.2-248(I) defines a continuing criminal enterprise as a series of violations of the state’s drug distribution statute that are undertaken by the person in concert with five or more other individuals. When law enforcement charges an individual with continuing criminal enterprise they are typically considered to be in a supervisory position, or any other role of management who gains substantial income or resources as a result of the enterprise.
Drug conspiracy charges are different from continuing criminal enterprise charges in that the prosecutor must prove a specific amount of receipts by the illegal business or that a large quantity of drugs was involved for a person to be found guilty. This is not the case for drug conspiracy charges.
Additionally, a drug conspiracy charge may involve just two persons, whereas a continuing criminal enterprise requires at least six people were involved. A McLean volume dealing attorney may have experience with continuing criminal enterprise cases because typically, these situations involve large quantities of narcotics.
The penalties associated with being convicted of having a leadership role in such an operation varies based upon the amount of money received as a result of the enterprise and the quantity of the controlled substance involved. If the enterprise in question receives at least $100,000 but not more than $250,000 in gross receipts during any 12-month period of its existence or sells, gives, possesses, distributes, manufactures, or possesses with the intent to distribute a requisite amount of a controlled substance, someone may face a penalty range of 20 years to life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of 20 years.
If an illegal business receives $250,000 or more in gross receipts during any 12-month period of its existence or sells, gives, distributes, manufactures, or possesses with the intent to distribute a requisite amount of a controlled substance, the mandatory minimum sentence increases to life imprisonment or 40 years imprisonment conditioned upon the leader’s cooperation with law enforcement.
It is incredibly important that someone facing these serious drug crimes works with an experienced McLean volume dealing lawyer. State law enforcement takes drug crimes seriously, as is evidenced by the harsh penalties that accompany a conviction.
Working with an experienced drug crimes attorney can be invaluable because they could critically analyze the prosecutor’s evidence against the defendant and mount any applicable defenses. Additionally, legal counsel could negotiate on a defendant’s behalf to reach a resolution that could avoid a significant prison sentence. To learn how an attorney could help you and your case, call today.
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