Certain drugs fall under controlled substances. The law prohibits people without recommended permits from holding or distributing controlled drugs. If relevant authorities catch you transgressing against this law, they can arrest and charge you with a drug-related crime. You should understand potential drug crimes to avoid getting into legal problems. Here are three common types of drug crimes you could get arrested for and how lawyers can help.
Think beyond obvious criminal charges such as drug trafficking or drug use when you consider a drug violation. You can also get arrested if found in possession of paraphernalia connected to controlled substances. Drug paraphernalia includes items people use to prepare, inject, or conceal drugs. Examples include bongs, syringes, pipes, and rolling papers. An arrest with these items can create massive legal trouble for you, including imprisonment or significant penalties.
It is important to know that you can still get arrested even if you don't possess illegal substances. For example, you can have rolling papers that you intend to use with tobacco and still get arrested, charged, or convicted of drug paraphernalia. A competent lawyer will know how to assess the items that the arresting officers took into custody and formulate a defense.
Being in Possession
Being in possession of drugs and other controlled substances can land you in jail. Possession means that the authorities found a substantial amount of the prohibited substance like cocaine and heroin on you with intent to distribute. Punishment for possession varies from one state to another.
Making and Delivering the Products
Some people manufacture and distribute controlled substances like meth, also known as methadone. You can be charged with a serious drug crime that lands you years in jail if arrested with potential ingredients for making drugs. The prosecutor must prove that you had the raw materials that make up the drug and intended to use them. They must also prove that you intended to sell it after the manufacture.
Distributing the Illegal Substances
Being a dealer means any small-scale activity of selling or distributing drugs. Most dealers will have a localized clientele and often report to someone else. If arrested for dealing, your charges might not be as serious as those of a trafficker.
These are the most common drug crimes today. It is advisable to hire a competent lawyer immediately after you get charged with a drug-related offense to help understand your charges and potentially minimize penalties.
For more information, contact a local law firm, like Epstein & Robbins.