Cases that deal with drugs can be very complicated, since there are so many different charges and statutes that deal with drugs in the United States. Questions regarding the type of drug, what the person’s intent with the drugs was perceived to be by the arresting officer, how much of the drug was involved, and so on. Factors related to the defendant also play a role, such as the person’s age, gang affiliation, criminal background, and similar factors.
Here are just a few of the most common drug-related charges in the United States, in alphabetical order:
DUI offenses can indicate drugs or alcohol, since the purpose and meaning of DUI is driving under the influence instead of focusing solely on alcohol. The person can be under the influence of either substance, or both, and the charge is the same. Recreational drugs, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter drugs can be the underlying cause of the problem in houston dwi defense attorney cases.
Cultivation of marijuana refers to growing marijuana in order to use it personally or sell it to others. Marijuana is one of the most common drugs for cultivation charges in America. However, drug charges can include manufacturing drugs such as meth and crack, which are increasing in popularity.
Drug paraphernalia charges are likely among the state’s least serious drug charges, since they do not have to involve an actual drug but simply items used to grow, cultivate, possess, or use drugs. This can include bongs, specific pipes, rolling papers, small plastic baggies, lighters, clothing with drugs or drug use depicted, and more, depending on the state and its applicable laws. In order to be charged, most cases demand that the arresting officer have some sort of evidence that the paraphernalia was meant to be used for drug use, such as a baggie with white powder that is determined to be cocaine amongst other baggies. This charge is frequently dropped in order to pursue more serious charges against a defendant, using the paraphernalia charge as a bargaining tool during plea agreements.
Possession indicates that the person charged possessed a specific amount of drugs. This charge is often used in conjunction with other drug-related charges, such as trafficking, but there are subcategories of a drug possession charge. For instance, if you are caught with a large amount of cocaine, you may be charged with possession with intent to sell. These different subcategories are considered aggravating factors in the case, and lead to stricter penalties.
Prescription drug charges are among the stricter charges where drugs are concerned, whether you were caught selling prescription drugs or trying to buy them. Prescriptions are designed to be given to a person only after careful thought and consideration by a licensed doctor, since that person should be aware of the receiver’s medical history and he or she can make a decision regarding dosage frequency and amount, among other factors.
Trafficking drugs is a very serious offense, especially at border states with Mexico where the defendant may face charges from both countries. These charges often carry the strictest penalties, especially if the person doing the trafficking has a criminal history of drug charges or violent offenses.
Finally, whether you are charged in state or federal court for drug charges can have a huge impact on the rest of your life. Federal drug sentences are usually much harsher, especially here in Maine. Often, the amount of drugs can amount to very little and may still trigger felony charges. Crack is one of those drugs.
This information is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.