When it comes to drug arrests, the way a drug use charge is handled will be very different from one that is for drug trafficking. This is because there tends to be more sympathy for someone who may have an addiction to substances while traffickers are viewed as being predatory towards people who are vulnerable. Because of this, you will also see a stark contrast on how bonds are offered as well. Here is a quick rundown.
Drug use charges are more compassionate
Since a lot of times drug addiction can be considered an illness, courts can often prioritize mandatory rehabilitation over strict prison sentences. That being said if the defendant has a long history of drug abuse then they may still face harsh consequences but the courts really do want to try help get the defendant on a different path before it becomes too late.
Trafficking comes with mandatory prison time
Drug trafficking charges are not treating lightly, in fact, most states have mandatory prison sentences for people convicted of trafficking. In fact, the consequences are so serious that often a defendant with trafficking charges may not even be offered bond as an option.
If bond is available, it will be really high for traffickers
If a judge agrees to offer bond, the price can be upwards of $250,000 which means even with the help of a bail bondsman that the defendant would need to come up with $25,000. This for most can be next to impossible to come up with quickly. The reason for such high costs is because with trafficking since it does come with a mandatory sentence, a defendant would be considered a high flight risk since there would be plenty of incentive to avoid the jail time.
It might be worth it to try and negotiate
If you feel that the bond cost is unnecessarily high, you could have your lawyer try and negotiate with the judge for a lower cost. This can be done by showing that you have strong ties with your community, have held the same job for a long period of time or anything else to show yourself with a positive involvement with the community not to mention a pillar within your family.
Overall, any drug charge is going to cause issues but trafficking, in particular, can really have stern consequences that will be felt by the defendant for years to come.