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Why driving with drugs in a vehicle could lead to federal charges

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Kentucky has more than one highway that runs from the northern Midwest all the way down to Florida and Alabama. Given that people who are driving so far across the country pass through Kentucky, drug traffickers sometimes use our highways and even surface roads to transport illegal cargo from one state to another.

Typically, these individuals do so with the intention of selling their illicit products in another state. You may simply be out for a joyride or on your way to a quiet vacation at the cabin. If you drive through Kentucky with drugs in your vehicle, even if they are for personal use, you might find yourself facing serious drug charges. In fact, you could even face federal charges.

Crossing state lines with drugs could be considered interstate trafficking

It is illegal to possess prohibited narcotics in any state, but most people charged with possession will face state charges. However, if police officers or prosecutors can show that you crossed state lines with drugs in your vehicle, especially if you have more than a small amount, they might try to build a case against you for trafficking.

It’s important to understand that there doesn’t need to be evidence that you intended to sell the drugs for you to face trafficking charges. The mere act of driving them in or out of the state is enough to violate federal law.

Federal drug charges could carry mandatory minimum sentences

Whether the state of Kentucky or the federal government charges you with a drug offense, you will want to defend yourself. A strong defense is particularly important in federal cases, as mandatory minimum sentencing rules could mean massive consequences for defendants.