Partially due to being located at the intersection of our country’s two most vital interstates (I-35 and I-40), Oklahoma has always been notorious for devoting a massive amount of law enforcement resources towards fighting drug trafficking. Those who find themselves facing drug trafficking charges in Oklahoma should be aware of the uphill battle ahead of them. This starts with first knowing the basic facts on what constitutes drug trafficking in our state and what the penalties can entail.
Drug Trafficking vs. Intent to Distribute
It’s important to know Oklahoma’s legal distinctions between drug possession/distribution and actual drug trafficking.
Although a criminal drug distribution charge can indeed include the actual sale of drugs, you can also be charged for distribution simply by sharing drugs. Several states base a distribution charge upon the quantity of drugs involved, but Oklahoma does not currently have a threshold that triggers a charge of possession with intent to distribute — a person can be charged if they are in possession of any amount of drug.
However, drug trafficking charges in Oklahoma do have specific set amounts. If you are traveling within the state while possessing a certain amount of illegal drugs or prescription medication, you can be charged with drug trafficking.
Below are the minimum weights or quantities of illegal drugs to constitute drug trafficking charges in Oklahoma:
- Cocaine: ≥ 28 grams
- LSD: ≥ 50 doses
- Amphetamine or methamphetamine: ≥ 20 grams
- Heroin: ≥ 10 grams
- Cocaine base (i.e., crack): ≥ 5 grams
- PCP: ≥ 1 ounce (about 28 grams)
- Marijuana: ≥ 25 pounds
- MDMA/Ecstasy: ≥ 30 tabs or 10 grams
The current minimum amounts for prescription drugs are as follows:
- Morphine: ≥ 1,000 grams
- Oxycodone: ≥ 400 grams
- Hydrocodone: ≥ 3,750 grams
- Benzodiazepine: ≥ 500 grams
- Fentanyl and derivatives: ≥ 1 gram
It is considered drug trafficking in Oklahoma when a person possesses greater than the specified amounts listed above, plus one of the following criteria:
- Possesses, distributes, manufactures, or transports any of the above within Oklahoma
- Uses the services of or solicits the service of a person under 18 years of age to distribute or manufacture a controlled dangerous substance
- Possesses a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to manufacture another controlled dangerous substance
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking Charges in Oklahoma?
Most sentences for criminal drug charges in Oklahoma have been reduced in recent years, but they still remain quite severe. First-time offenses can carry a maximum of 20 years in prison, while second-time offenses carry a range of 4 years to life. Third-time offenses carry a minimum of 20 years and extend to life sentences. Like many other criminal cases, drug trafficking offenders can earn credits that reduce their sentence time, but this time can be reduced by no more than 50%.
Parole eligibility has some different terms as well. Anyone convicted of a second or subsequent trafficking offense must serve at least 50% of their sentence before they are eligible.
Aggravated drug trafficking is a different story altogether. These charges involve trafficking substantially high amounts of drugs and come with higher penalties in terms of both fines and sentencing. Aggravated drug trafficking in Oklahoma is considered a violent offense and is subject to what’s known as the 85% rule, which requires a person to serve at least 85% of their sentence before being eligible for parole.
Possession of Drug Trafficking Proceeds
As we’ve covered elsewhere, Oklahoma also allows the seizure and forfeiture of drug proceeds, including any property that’s allegedly been purchased with drug proceeds. This can create severe complications for family members and associates of someone convicted of distributing or trafficking illegal drugs, as their property — including homes and vehicles — can be considered “drug proceeds” and thus subject to asset seizure.
The Right Legal Representation Makes All the Difference
If you or a loved one is facing a drug trafficking charge, it’s imperative to secure representation from an experienced, caring, and proven law firm specializing in drug offenses.
The Criminal Defense lawyers at Overman Legal Group possess years of experience handling all types of drug trafficking charges — including asset seizure and aggravated drug trafficking cases. Our dedicated, award-winning attorneys will leverage every available resource on your behalf while navigating the evolving complexities of our state’s justice system to secure the most favorable outcome in your unique case — and for your future moving forward.