Drug Crime Classifications

Drug Crime Lawyer Rockville, MD

While opinions on the efficacy of drug laws in the U.S. are legion, it is not disputable drug laws are quite strict, and they must be followed. Trafficking and possession laws are intended to crack down on any kind of epidemic before it can begin, though their efficacy in doing so is forever debated. Nonetheless, it is generally a sound idea to try and understand the nature of what one has been charged with, if indeed you have been accused of using or distributing drugs. The differences between the various offenses are great enough to matter.

Possession Laws

While one might conceivably consider possession of some drugs to be a victimless crime, it can be argued that the possession and normalization of many drugs poses a direct threat to public safety. Drugs, especially street drugs, have contributed to the painkiller epidemic across the country, and while legally prescribed drugs are not usually covered by possession laws, street drugs are.

The more of a drug one is found to possess, the higher the sentence. The nature of the substance will also be relevant – possession of a Schedule V drug will be taken somewhat more lightly than possession of a Schedule I drug. However, it is important to note that some states do not only classify pure drugs into the state and federal Schedules; they also classify the relevant compounds associated with the controlled substance at issue. This can make a difference at trial, especially if the compound in question is not a common one.

Distribution Laws

The laws regarding sale or distribution of controlled substances are somewhat similar to that governing possession, with the attendant graduation in duration and severity of sentence depending on the quantity and type of drug involved. It is worth noting, however, that certain distribution crimes still have mandatory minimum sentences associated with them, meaning that regardless of intent or outcome, if one is convicted of such a crime, they must serve a certain amount of jail time. Also, those convicted under such laws are not eligible for conditional discharge or probation.

Be advised that for distribution crimes, there are also what the law refers to as penalty enhancements. For example, if one is arrested and charged with manufacture, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance, the sentence may increase up to double the time if the offender is in possession of a firearm. Another common penalty enhancement is for a sentence to be significantly increased if the alleged unlawful conduct takes place within 1500 feet of a school, church, public park, or movie theater, because those are places which are commonly populated by young children and families.

Seek Knowledgeable Assistance

Due to the complex nature of drug laws, it can be extremely intimidating to be charged with a drug crime. However, it is not recommended to try and forge through alone. A drug crime lawyer Rockville, MD relies on at Daniel J. Wright can sit down with you and attempt to assess your case. Call an attorney today to set up an initial consultation.