Trafficking offenses in Mississippi have very strict definitions and often carry stiff penalties. More specifically, Mississippi Code Title 41 defines the minimum and maximum sentencing guidelines for several illegal acts, including transfer and possession with intent to transfer, possession of an illegal substance or of paraphernalia, trafficking and aggravated trafficking.
Understanding aggravated trafficking laws in Mississippi
Mississippi law defines aggravated trafficking as, with exceptions for synthetic cannabinoids and marijuana, trafficking 200 grams or more of Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances. As opposed to simple trafficking offenses, which typically carry prison sentences of between 10 and 40 years, aggravated trafficking convictions carry a minimum prison sentence of up to 25 years and a maximum prison sentence of life.
In addition, aggravated trafficking convicts can receive a fine of up to $1 million. If convicted of aggravated trafficking in Mississippi, then you will also be ineligible for parole or probation. Aggravated trafficking is a separate offense than human trafficking or other related sex offenses.
Many human trafficking cases involve either the attempted or successful recruitment, enticement or coercion of a person with the intent or knowledge that the victim will end up forced to provide labor or illicit services. Human trafficking cases, especially as they relate to sex crimes in Mississippi, can also center around indirectly facilitating a forced prostitution ring or a similar operation.
However, those accused of human trafficking in Mississippi may have a valid legal defense if they were physically forced or otherwise coerced into participating in the offense. To establish this defense, it is necessary to prove that the accused is either a victim of the alleged act or committed the illegal act under fear of harm to themselves or their family. Thus, Mississippi human trafficking cases can often be complex and involve multiple extenuating circumstances.