Laws and Penalties for Trafficking Offenses

"Drug traffic is defined by chapter III art. 21 of the Decree Law 15/93: ‘traffic and other illicit activities’. Producing, offering, selling, preparing or cultivating illicit drugs are, among others, the classic offences constituting drug traffic. It must be mentioned that the same article expressly excludes drug use offences foreseen by article 40 of the same decree law.
"Portuguese law differentiates prosecution of drug traffic according to several criteria. The nature of the substance is one of the main criteria. Trafficking in substances included in the lists I to III attract a sentence of between 4 and 12 years of imprisonment, while substances in list IV (tranquilliser and analgesic) may be punished by between 1 and 5 years in prison.
"The state of addiction of the trafficker is also taken into account by art. 26 of Decree Law 15/93. If the user sells drugs to finance his own consumption (‘addict-trafficker’), the penalty is reduced: Lists I, II, III up to 3 years (instead of 4-12) - list IV up to 1 year (instead of 1-5).
"The ‘traffic of minor importance’, being defined by article 25, is also considered at the prosecution. In cases in which the crime can be defined as minor, according to the circumstances, modalities of the crime, quantity and nature of the substances, the penalties will be substantially reduced; between 1 and 5 years’ imprisonment (lists I to III) and up to 2 years or fine (list IV).
"Of course the law foresees also aggravating circumstances by which the minimum and maximum penalties for traffic can be increased by ¼ in all cases. Criminal association envisages 10-25 years. Traffic of precursors attract penalties up to 12 years of imprisonment and the abandonment of syringes is fined or punished by up to 1 year of imprisonment."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Country Legal Profile: Portugal," last accessed Dec. 8, 2012.