There are many roles an individual may play when involved with a large-scale drug crime operation. One such role is a drug mule. Let’s discuss what a drug mule does and the potential criminal charges if you are found to be committing these activities.
What is a Drug Mule?
A drug mule is someone who smuggles illegal drugs. Typically, this is done in trafficking schemes where drugs are being transported across country borders. The drug mule may hide the substances in their vehicle, possessions, or even on or within their body.
Many people become drug ‘mules’ or illegally transport drugs to make money. However, some individuals are made drug mules against their will. This is an example of human trafficking.
Criminal Penalties for Drug Mules
Drug crimes are highly penalized in America. For example, almost 50% of federal inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses. It’s important to know the serious criminal risks associated with committing drug crimes.
Drug mules, or drug smugglers, will often face federal charges for violating 18 U.S.C.§ 545 which criminalized the smuggling of goods into the United States. Depending on the substance involved and the circumstances of the offense, the minimum sentencing could be anywhere from five to 20 years in prison.
Additionally, it’s common for individuals convicted of drug smuggling to be charged with related drug crimes like money laundering.
Criminal Defense for Drug Trafficking and Smuggling Charges
If you or your loved one have recently been charged with a drug trafficking scheme, it’s important to take immediate action for legal defense.
At First Coast Criminal Defense, we can help determine which defense strategy is the best fit for your unique situation and role in the crime.
It may be:
- Lack of intent
- Unknowing drug mule
- Mistaken identity
- Illegal search incident to arrest
In any case, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced defense attorney to fight your charges. Our attorneys at First Coast Criminal Defense are highly skilled at handling drug trafficking cases. To discuss your serious charges with our team, call us at (904) 474-3115.