Everyone knows that a drug crime involves an illegal substance, but not everyone is familiar with the various ways that you can get in trouble with the law regarding illegal substances.
If you’ve been accused of a drug crime, it’s important to understand the nature of the accusations — and what they actually mean. Knowing that you’ve been charged with drug trafficking is one thing; understanding what the term “drug trafficking” refers to, however, will be essential while you’re constructing your criminal defense.
Common drug crime terminology
Here is a list of common crimes surrounding drugs and other controlled substances. Have you been accused of one of the following?
Drug paraphernalia crimes: Paraphernalia when it comes to drugs refers to any number of items that can be used to package and/or administer different controlled substances. These items may include rolling paper for smoking drugs, syringes for injecting drugs, bongs for smoking drugs and a wide variety of other items. In many cases, a seemingly innocuous item could be categorized as paraphernalia if police believe you were using it in a drug-related activity.
Possession offenses: Possession relates to having an item in your possession or control. This item — be it a controlled substance, illegal drug or drug paraphernalia — might be on your person, in your car, in your apartment or in a location that you have a key to and control of. The higher quantity of drugs in your possession, the more serious the offense.
Manufacturing crimes: Manufacturing crimes relate to the creation of drugs. A manufacturing offense could involve any stage of the drug creation process. Usually, for a manufacturing conviction, prosecutors must prove that defendants were also in possession of a certain amount of the substance.
Trafficking offenses: Drug trafficking and drug distribution refer to the selling, transportation and importation of controlled substances. In many cases, merely possessing a large quantity of drugs may be sufficient evidence to prove that an individual was engaged in drug trafficking.
Dealing offenses: Drug “dealing” is a smaller level offense compared to drug trafficking. These are usually small-scale operations in which one person is selling a small quantity of drugs to another individual.
Defending yourself against drug crimes
In order to begin defending yourself against a drug crime, you need to understand the charges and accusations completely. You’ll also want to understand how strong the prosecution’s case is, the nature of punishments in the event of a conviction and other information to begin creating a suitable plan for answering your criminal charges and defending yourself in court.