There are a number of different drug offenses that a person can be charged with. These can originate from either the federal or the state level. In many instances, a state drug charge is narrower in focus so that it doesn’t conflict with the federal laws that are on the books. In many cases, federal drug offenses result in long sentences. Drug charges brought against a person by the state tend to be shorter and could even result in probation only.
Misdemeanor and Felony Drug Offenses
Another aspect to consider is whether a drug charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. As you might expect, a misdemeanor drug offense is one that is considered to be less severe and it often carries a milder sentence. The information below can help you understand the differences between misdemeanor and felony drug offenses.
The definition of drug paraphernalia is one that is wide. It is described as any equipment that can be used to inhale, prepare, conceal or inject illegal drugs. Drug paraphernalia also refers to equipment that can be used to produce drugs. For this reason, it could be against the law to import, export or sell drug paraphernalia such as syringes, pipes, bongs and rolling papers. In spite of the fact that some of these items could be labeled indicating that they are only to be used with tobacco, it is possible for you to be charged with their possession.
Possession of Drugs
There are two key elements to consider when it comes to a charge of drug possession. The first has to do with the drug in question and the second is the amount of that drug. Both state and federal drug laws make it a crime to possess controlled substances such as cocaine, marijuana and heroin. Depending on the amount of the drugs involved — as well as other factors such as the drug paraphernalia found — the charges can range from simple possession to possession with the intent to distribute the drugs. As you might expect, simple possession tends to involve less severe penalties than a charge of possession with the intent to distribute.
Manufacturing and/or delivering an illicit drug is a crime under state and federal laws. If a prosecutor is able to prove that you were intending to manufacture and possess a drug, you could face both fines and a prison sentence. This area is one that is grayer than most others because of the presence of medical marijuana. If you’ve been charged with a drug offense involving marijuana, it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows the intricacies of the law.
Drug trafficking is the transport, sale and import of illegal substances like cocaine, heroin and marijuana. The laws covering drug trafficking and distribution make the charge a felony.
Being charged with a drug offense means that you need a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in these types of offenses. Contacting The Law Office of Jaimee C. McDowell should be your first action after getting a drug charge.