The “War on Drugs” has armed law enforcement with a variety of charges at their disposal. Stepping into chewed bubblegum on the sidewalk is a lot like drug charges. Once stuck, it is hard to unstick.
By proactively self-educating on the variety of drug charges you can help to ensure that your rights are protected. With marijuana laws changing from state to state, it can leave a feeling of confusion about what exactly is illegal. Being unclear on the current state and federal laws can lead to unintended issues.
5 ways of being charged with a drug crime
Each of the following has levels of severity, but there are five basic ways of being charged with drugs:
- Paraphernalia: This charge covers a large variety of drug-related items from delivery devices to equipment used to hide, sell or make drugs.
- Possession: Having illegal drugs on your person, car, home or office can lead to possession charges. If it is beyond the limits of personal use, the possession charged can be enhanced to possession with intent to distribute.
- Manufacturing: Every step of the process of producing illicit drugs is illegal. This includes being in possession of pre-curser chemicals sued in the drug manufacturing process.
- Trafficking: Drug laws make it illegal to sell, transport or import drugs. Drug trafficking and distribution is a felony and carries severe consequences because it usually involves larger amounts of drugs.
- Dealing: Selling drugs on a smaller scale to individuals for personal use is known as dealing. The punishments are usually less severe than trafficking, although they are both related to selling. The difference is the quantity of drugs that was discovered.
The definition of trafficking and dealing vary from state to state. Federal drug charges can be a factor depending on the amount and if more than one state is involved.
The “War on Drugs” has given various ways for drug cases to be charged on a state and federal level. Multiple drug-related charges can arise from a single arrest. This is why it is helpful to have a solid defense that comprehensively accounts for all the unique factors of a case.