Whether you’ve been charged with a drug crime or someone you know is currently facing drug charges, understanding the different types and ramifications of these charges is important. Always seek to secure your future with experienced legal counsel as opposed to trying to represent yourself in legal matters involving drugs.
What is a Drug Crime?
Drugs can be related to crimes in a number of ways. Defined broadly, drug crime is most directly attributed to intent to use, possess, manufacture or distribute drugs that are classified as having a potential for abuse. Drugs can also be related to crimes where a user’s behavior was impacted as a result of those drugs, which further resulted in additional illegal behavior or violence.
Is a Drug Crime a Civil or Criminal Offense?
Drug related crimes are criminalized under both state and federal law, and are typically broken into two categories: simple possession or possession with the intent to distribute. The former is most often a misdemeanor charge, whereas the latter can quickly become a felony. Additionally, drug trafficking charges occur on the federal level and incur heftier fines than those of other drug crimes.
Common Types of Drug Crimes
By breaking down the most common types of drug crimes, a person can better understand what they are actually being charged with:
Simple possession of a drug is perhaps the most common type of drug crime that there is. The exact level you have on your person will determine the severity of the charge. Certain possessions, such as Marijuana, have been decriminalized in a number of states.
Drug trafficking is one of the most serious crimes a person can face for drug charges. It is the delivery of a controlled substance in addition to a minimum weight requirement for that drug. Charged at the federal level, the fines can be in the millions and jail time may start at a minimum of five years.
Drug possession with intent to sell
This drug charge most often applies to a person who had a small amount of controlled substance on them and was intending to distribute it to others when they were caught. It is not as severe as drug trafficking, with the primary difference being the amount of the drug on hand.
Possession of drug paraphernalia
Finally, possession of drug paraphernalia is the other most common type of drug charge. This is usually a misdemeanor and refers to having any item on hand that is used to produce, conceal, or consume drugs including: bongs, spoons, pipes, needles, scales, and more.
Find legal assistance for your case
There are thousands on thousands of drug cases every single year, with the majority falling on the state level. Even light drug charges can carry heavy fines, penalties, or jailtime for first time offenders. This is why finding the right legal representation to back you up in court is so important. Reach out to a boar-certified attorney in your area who specializes in drug crimes.