Not all crimes are the same. Because of this, some criminal allegations carry harsher penalties than others. Take drug crimes, for example. The consequences for a minor drug crime are significantly less than those of a more serious crime, such as drug manufacturing or trafficking. Thus, it is important to understand the penalties associated with any crime, what mitigating and aggravating factors might exist and what criminal defense options one might have.
What are the different types of drug charges? While drug charges differ by drug type, they also differ by the conduct involved in the allegations. To begin, one could face charges for the possession of drug paraphernalia. This means that the accused is in possession of items that are used in relations to drug crimes, such as a pip, bong or scale.
One could also face drug possession charges, meaning he or she knowingly is in control of the drugs in question. Possession with the intent to distribute requires that one be in possession of such a large quantity that it is unlikely that it is for personal use. Finally, one could face drug manufacturing or drug trafficking charges. This means that one is involved in a step of the process for the manufacturing or trafficking of an illegal substance.
Common defenses of a drug charge include unlawful search and seizure, claiming that the drugs belong to another person, missing evidence or duress or coercion. Depending on the details of the crime, it may be possible to exert other defenses as well. No matter if it is a person’s first drug crime allegation or not, it is important to take these matters seriously and address them head on by initiating a timely and aggressive criminal defense.