Controlled substances can alter a person’s state of mind and pose a health risk. For this reason, all states have laws that make trafficking controlled substances illegal. A person in Jackson, Mississippi, can face several federal penalties if they are convicted of drug trafficking.
Mississippi drug trafficking law overview
Federal law and Mississippi state law classify drug charges into five penalty groups, Schedule I to Schedule V, based on dependence risk. Schedule I includes the most addictive drugs, such as LSD and cocaine, that have no established medical application. Schedules II to Schedule V include many substances that have an established medical use but come with an addiction risk.
Federal penalties for drug trafficking
Drug trafficking involves carrying illegal substances across state lines, which can result in federal charges. Sometimes, both state and federal laws apply, but if the trafficking only occurs in the state, state laws apply. Some federal individual penalties for Schedule I and II substances are:
- Up to a $5 million fine for a first offense
- Up to a 20-year jail term for a first offense
- Up to 30 years in prison and a $2 million fine for a second offense
Trafficking any amount of a Schedule III drug carries possible penalties of up to 10 years and a $500,000 fine for a first offense. The penalties for trafficking any amount of a Schedule Iv substance include up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
Penalties for a first charge of trafficking Schedule V substances include up to a one-year jail term and a maximum $100,000 fine. These charges can increase if the defendant caused death or injury, involved a minor or carried a firearm.
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. Whether the defendant faces state or federal charges or both, there are several valid defenses that may apply.