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Bringing drugs on a road trip is a recipe for criminal charges

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Chemical experimentation is often part of someone’s plans for their vacation. People may want to attend a music festival and have the full, psychedelic experience, or they may frequently use certain substances, like methamphetamine or marijuana, that they feel they need to bring with them on their travels.

Given how rigorous screening for dangerous and illegal items is at the airport, those intending to take controlled or prohibited substances with them as they travel know that flying is a very dangerous option. They may opt to drive instead.

A road trip could lead to major criminal charges

You might find yourself crossing South Dakota on your way to Illinois from California, but you could be in big trouble if you get stopped in the state with drugs in your car. South Dakota laws apply regardless of your origin or destination.

Maybe you started in a state where marijuana is legal and will spend your vacation in another state with a legalization measure. You might then think that the drugs in your car are technically legal if you don’t use them in South Dakota. The police won’t look at the situation that way.

In fact, you might find yourself facing more serious penalties specifically because you crossed state lines. Bringing drugs from one state into another can sometimes lead to federal drug charges instead of state prosecution. Additionally, traveling with enough of a substance to supply yourself for multiple days or weeks might put you over the threshold for simple possession and at risk of more serious charges, like trafficking or possession with intent to distribute.

Interstate charges will be a major challenge

If you live in another state and find yourself facing criminal charges in South Dakota, you may have a harder time handling the situation than a basic charge in the state where you reside. You will need a domestic attorney in South Dakota to represent you, and you also need to learn about both federal and state drug laws to determine the best defense in your space.

Having the right help and perspective can make a big difference when you find yourself accused of a drug offense.