There are both federal and state laws that cover a variety of drug crimes, all of which are associated with numerous consequences.
In a perfect world, you would never face a drug crime charge. Unfortunately, you could find yourself in this position for a variety of reasons. If you do, you must take some basic steps:
- Understand your charges
- Learn more about the legal system and what's to come
- Implement a drug crime defense strategy to help avoid a conviction
A drug conviction can negatively impact your life in many ways, including, but not limited, to prison time, having a criminal record and the inability to quality for certain types of employment and housing opportunities.
Here is a detailed look at some of the more common types of drug crimes:
- Drug paraphernalia. This describes any type of equipment used to conceal, prepare or use drugs. Examples include syringes, rolling papers and bongs.
- Possession. This is exactly what it sounds like — police catch you possessing an illegal drug. There is more than one type of crime that fits into this category. For example, simple possession typically comes into play if you have a small quantity of drugs. Conversely, possession with intent to distribute is a much more serious charge.
- Drug trafficking. One of the more serious crimes, it's illegal to transport, sell and/or import illegal substances, including, but not limited to, cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Drug trafficking and distribution are felonies, so convictions can lead to much more serious consequences.
- Dealing. This is a generic term that describes the selling of illegal drugs, typically a small amount. This is not the same as trafficking, as dealing entails selling a small amount of drugs on a local level.
While these are among the most common types of drug crimes, there are many others that are strictly enforced.
Since every drug crime has the potential to alter your life, you can't sit back and hope for the best as your case makes its way through the legal system.
Learn more about your arrest and charges and the steps you can take to reduce your punishment or prevent a conviction altogether. Understanding your legal rights can be the difference between avoiding a criminal conviction and dealing with the consequences for many years to come.