Most people are aware that the distribution, manufacturing or trafficking of drugs is illegal. So too, however, are many other actions that could be associated with drug activity — and the seriousness of some of the charges may surprise you.
What are the different types of drug crimes?
There’s no one “catch-all” statute for drug crimes in any jurisdiction here in the United States. Instead, there are individual laws that describe each drug offense and the penalties you may face if you’re found guilty of them. Some charges you may face include:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia: You may be charged with this offense if police discover equipment used to inject, inhale, prepare or conceal drugs in your possession. Bongs, rolling paper, syringes and pipes may qualify as drug paraphernalia, but so may things like plastic baggies and kitchen scales, which can make the charge somewhat controversial.
- Possession of drugs: Cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana may all qualify as illicit drugs depending on the jurisdiction. So too, however, is the possession of prescription drugs that may be legal if they are not your own.
- Drug dealing: While large scale distribution or trafficking in illegal drugs is harshly penalized, so are small-time drug dealers. Under the right circumstances, even someone who sells a little marijuana or a few leftover prescription painkillers can end up facing serious jail time.
In essence, this is what you need to remember: Even small drug offenses have the potential to be charged under either federal or state laws. You may not know where your case will land until you hear the charges.
What can you do if you’re facing drug charges?
The best way to address any criminal charges that you’re facing is with the help of an experienced defense attorney. Every drug charge has the potential to seriously affect your future and your freedom.