Crimes involving drugs occur on a daily basis and are some of the most commonly prosecuted crimes in state and federal courts. Many different activities involving drugs can constitute a drug crime, from simple possession to organized distribution. Knowing some detailed information about drug crimes can help people facing drug charges defend their rights in court.
Types of Drug Crimes
A variety of actions and behaviors involving illegal drugs can be prosecuted as drug crimes. The type of crime and the amount of drugs seized by law enforcement are the most important factors affecting the severity of the sentence handed down upon conviction. Some common examples of drug crimes:
- Drug Possession. This is perhaps the most frequently prosecuted drug crime. If someone is found to have a quantity of illegal drugs on their person, in their car or in their residence, they may be charged with simple drug possession. Although simple possession drug crimes typically do not carry severe legal sentences, repeated offenses or possession of large quantities of drugs can dramatically increase the consequences.
- Drug Manufacture/Cultivation. This is a much more serious drug crime. If someone is caught while producing or growing illegal drugs, the consequences can be severe. Even growing a single marijuana plant or producing a small quantity of a drug like methamphetamine can carry a prison sentence. Also, this crime is frequently used as grounds to prosecute for drug distribution crimes.
- Drug Distribution. Selling or providing any quantity of illegal drugs to another person is classified as drug distribution. It is not always necessary to catch someone in the act to charge them with drug distribution. If a person is caught with drug distribution paraphernalia, such as scales, small bags or large sums of cash, they may face a drug distribution charge.
Drug Crime Defenses
Drug crimes attorneys know that defending clients is difficult but possible. If they can find evidence of police misconduct, they may be able to fight the charges. For example, if the defendant’s Miranda rights were violated or if evidence against them was obtained illegally, the drug charges may be dropped.