A number of drug crimes are covered under state and federal laws. These laws have gotten a lot of attention in the past decade as they are aimed at prohibiting the possession, sale, manufacture, and distribution of certain controlled substances. Any person found to be engaged in these acts will be punished according to the severity of the crime. If it is a federal drug charge, it will result in longer sentences, whereas state drug charges are shorter and may just require probation.
Whatever the crime, whether it is a state or federal drug charge, the drug conviction will be added to your criminal record. Having a drug conviction on your record can have severe consequences which can impact your life for years to come. Some of the common drug crimes people may be charged with include the following:
Drug paraphernalia is described as any equipment that may be used to produce, prepare, inject, inhale, or conceal illegal drugs. The National Drug Intelligence Center prohibits anyone to import, export, or sell any kind of drug paraphernalia. Some typical examples of drug paraphernalia that are prohibited by law include syringes, bongs, rolling papers, vaporizers, as well as a wide variety of pipes.
Most of these drug paraphernalia and equipment are made in such a way so as to look like it is intended for legal purposes. They are marked with labeling stating that they should be used for a particular purpose, but their possession can still get someone to be charged with drug paraphernalia depending on the circumstances.
Possession of certain controlled substances is considered a crime under state laws as well as federal laws. Although the laws vary from state to state, possession of an illicit controlled substance can have harsh penalties. It all depends on the amount of drug possessed. Small quantities of the drugs will lead to a simple possession charge, whereas possessing a large amount could lead to possession with intent to distribute and harsher penalties.
When someone is involved in the production of an illegal drug, they may be charged with drug manufacturing. Possession of large amounts of the drug will be considered delivery, or intent to sale, all of which are also considered a crime under federal and state laws. An alleged drug manufacturer or distributor can face hefty fines and prison sentence. However, it is important to note that the cultivation of marijuana is treated differently in certain states because of medical and personal use exceptions.
It is illegal to sell, transport, import, or distribute illegal controlled substances under drug trafficking and distribution laws. Marijuana, cocaine and other narcotics are all illegal drugs, and possessing large amounts may lead the police to believe that you intended to sell or distribute them. Anyone convicted of drug trafficking will have to face jail time.
Drug dealing refers to the selling of illegal drugs on a smaller scale. Trafficking is different than drug dealing and both terms are defined differently in different states. Usually, drug dealing consists one person selling a small amount of the drug. Hence, the punishment for drug dealing is less severe than trafficking. Selling small amounts of marijuana can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 5 years in prison, whereas large amounts of marijuana, usually more than 1,000 kg, can lead to a sentence of 10 years or more up to life imprisonment.
Whether you are facing a federal drug charge or a civil drug charge, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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