Drugs and other similar substances have been categorized by the US government as controlled substances. It enables the government to regulate the possession and use of such substances. Under the Drug Possession Laws, it is illegal to possess and use drugs and other uncontrolled substances.
Anyone who possesses drugs will face criminal charges. In such circumstances, it is important to have a lawyer by your side, who can fight your case in court for possession of drugs or other uncontrolled substances.
This article covers the following topics:
Should you Hire a Lawyer?
A person, who is facing charges for possession of drugs will face serious consequences for it. They may also have to serve lengthy jail sentences. Now, the question is that what’s the most important factor which influences the length of jail sentences imposed by the court? These actors are the type of drugs and their quantity found with the accused. If you hire a criminal defense lawyer, they will tell you about the available legal options. They will also represent you in the criminal trial process. Hence, hiring a possession of drugs lawyer nearby is the best step that you can take while facing charges under the possession of uncontrolled substances.
Is it a Misdemeanor or Felony? – Possession of Dangerous Drugs
Multiple factors decide if possession of uncontrolled substances is a felony or a misdemeanor. These factors also influence the court’s decision on the total jail time for possession of drugs, if any.
Schedule of Drug
The first factor is the schedule of the drug. Schedules of respective drugs indicate how dangerous the drug is for humans. Schedule 1 drugs are the most dangerous type of drugs. If one has possession of schedule 1 drugs, they will face charges under the most serious drug crimes and face harsher punishments.
Let’s say that law enforcement officials found a person in possession of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or heroine. In this case, the person will face felony charges as these are the schedule 1 drugs. On the other hand, if a person is caught in possession of Ketamine, a schedule 3 drug, it may lead to a misdemeanor.
Quantity of Drug
Like we said in the beginning, the quantity of the controlled substance found with the person, is also a crucial factor. It can affect the criminal charges that the person will face under the drug charges. Someone who has a larger amount of drugs will face serious felony charges. It is especially true if the quantity is large enough to indicate that the person facing the charges, intended to distribute the drugs.
If one is found to possess drugs in small amounts for their personal use, they will only face misdemeanor charges. So, what is the exact quantity that we are talking about here? That will again depend upon the type of controlled substance.
For instance, if someone possesses LSD in a quantity, equal to or above 1 gram, they will face drug trafficking charges. For crack cocaine, this threshold is 5 grams, for powdered cocaine 500 grams, and for heroin, the threshold is 100 grams. Drug trafficking charges will be brought against anyone found to be possessing these substances in equal or more quantity than the said value.
Nature of the Circumstances
The possessor of drugs may face felony charges if the violation involves one or more aggravating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances imply situations that are potentially more harmful than only possessing drugs. For example, if someone possessing drugs sells it to or around children, the crime does not remain a misdemeanor anymore. It becomes an act of felony. Each state has its list of aggravating circumstances. It includes scenarios like the possessor having a history of prior drug convictions or the possessor running his drug-related activities near schools, public buildings, parks, swimming pools, drug treatment facilities, etc.
By now, it is evident that the possession of drugs may quickly turn into a grave offense, depending on how the circumstantial factors play out. Depending on the intensity of the offense, punishments can vary widely, starting with fines and going up to prison charges. Penalties may also involve attending drug rehabilitation centers. It’s prudent that to protect yourself from such reputation-damaging consequences, you consult and hire a drug possession lawyer from day zero.
Don’t Be Overconfident
Even if you are completely innocent, you should not be overconfident to represent yourself in court. The prosecution has its way to prove its charges against you, which only a trained and experienced legal mind can combat. Your opinion or your words do not hold any evidential value in the court of law. Only a trained attorney knows how to present the case and what elements of it to highlight. To represent yourself through an attorney is all the more important because whatever you say runs the risk of being used as testimonies against you.
Here is a quick look-through into aspects that demand that you hire a drug possession attorney:
- For the prosecution or the law enforcement agencies, it is not always easy to bring in undeniable proof of charges without adopting the route of illegal search and seizure. A layman would hardly be able to disprove these claims. But a trained attorney knows how to examine the arrest and find out the prosecution’s loopholes. The lawyer can also scrutinize the evidence and question the police if the need arises. The attorney may review all the possibilities of the case being one that of an intentional entrapment.
- The lawyer also acts as a shield between you and the larger society outside the court. Communities often subject a drug possession accused to trauma, harassment, and embarrassment in the public. A lawyer ensures that your employer or the committee members of the residential society you live in do not deny your human rights during the trial.
- A lawyer can always forewarn you if he/she expects the proceedings to take a turn against you. Such wisdom gives you time to plan on alternative resources like arranging for money to appeal in the higher court, etc.
- The lawyers can also negotiate the severity of the punishment on your behalf. They can take steps that reduce prison time and ensure that no harm comes to your family in the process.
In totality, an experienced attorney would leave no stone unturned to ensure that there are no lapses on your way to retaining your life with freedom, career, and reputation.
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