Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Maine

If you’re thinking about the penalties for drug trafficking in Maine, then you’ll want to make sure you know these three things:

How does Maine define drug trafficking?  Generally, the term drug trafficking refers to the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. The Maine criminal code defines unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs as a person who intentionally (knowingly) possesses an amount or concentration of a scheduled drug(s) such that the laws of evidence permit the inference that he is trafficking in scheduled drugs. (Maine lists drugs according to schedules W, X, Y, and Z with W being the most dangerous drugs.) For example, possession of more than a pound of marijuana permits inferring unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs.

A defense to a drug trafficking charge is that the law authorizes the trafficking or that the activity is actually a civil violation. It’s also an affirmative defense that the substance is industrial hemp.

Penalties for drug trafficking in Maine. Maine penalties for drug trafficking appear as Class B, C, or D crimes, which in other jurisdictions equate to felonies or misdemeanors.

  • Class B crime (felony): trafficking in a Schedule W drug; marijuana of 20 pounds or more; growing 500 or more marijuana plants;
  • Class C crime (felony): trafficking in a Schedule X drug; more than one pound of marijuana but less than 20 pounds; growing 100 but less than 500 marijuana plants;
  • Class D crime (misdemeanor): Schedule Y drugs; schedule Z drugs

The crime class definitions are as follows:

  • Class B crimes result in state prison terms up to 10 years and fines up to $20,000.
  • Class C crimes result in state prison terms up to 5 years and fines up to $5,000.
  • Class D crimes result in up to 364 days in county jail and fines up to $2,000.

Examples of drugs within the drug schedules are as follows (these are not all-encompassing but rather illustrative in nature):

  • Schedule W: heroin, morphine, methadone, amphetamines, barbituric acid, cocaine and its derivatives
  • Schedule X: Chlorhexadol, sulfondiethylmethane, nalorphine, mescaline, hashish, ketamine
  • Schedule Y: Phenobarbital, codeine, diazepam, chloralhydrate
  • Schedule Z: All prescription drugs other than those in W, X, and Y; marijuana, synthetic carbinoids

Aggravated drug trafficking. This is one of the few laws in Maine that has a minimum required sentence. A person commits aggravated drug trafficking if:

  1. he traffics in a scheduled drug with a child who is under 18 years old;
  2. he has prior convictions for aggravated drug trafficking in Maine or similar crimes in another jurisdiction;
  3. in carrying out the crime, he possesses, uses, carries/armed with a firearm;
  4. he trafficks in cocaine of 112 grams or more or cocaine base of 32 grams or more;
  5. he is on a school bus or within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school or a safe zone; or
  6. he enlists the aid of a child who is younger than age 18;
  7. he traffics in methamphetamine of 300 pills or more or more than 100 grams or more;
  8. he traffics in 6 grams or more of heroin or more than 270 bags (envelopes, packets, etc.) containing heroin;
  9. he traffics in 300 or more pills of narcotics other than heroin or 8000 milligrams of oxycodone or 1,000 milligrams of hydromorphone;
  10. he traffics in 300 or more pills, caplets, etc of MDA;
  11. the scheduled drug causes death; or
  12. the scheduled drug causes serious bodily injury.

If the drug is a Class W drug, trafficking is a Class A crime.

If the drug is 20 pounds of marijuana or more, trafficking is a Class A crime.

If the drug is a Class X drug, trafficking is a Class B crime.

If the drug is a pound of marijuana (but less than 20 pounds), trafficking is a Class B crime.

If the drug is a Class Y or Z drug, trafficking is a Class C crime.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. We are your resource for all your criminal defense questions.