One of the most common causes of interaction with law enforcement is related to drug crimes, which come in a variety of forms. The large majority of arrests are for charges of possession of a controlled substance, though possession of paraphernalia and distribution of illegal substances are also frequent citations. Federal, state, and local agencies are all in some way responsible for enforcement of drug laws, but most enforcement actions are taken by state and local authorities. If you have been in contact with the authorities and have been charged with drug crimes or violations, you have options.
Controlled Substance Possession/Distribution
Controlled substance possession refers to a person having possession or ownership of a drug without legal permission or other justification. For example, someone carrying a bottle of opioids (like Vicodin or Oxycodone) for pain after a spinal surgery would not be considered to be in possession of a controlled substance if they can provide evidence of a prescription for that medication; in other words, they can prove that they have legal permission to possess the controlled substance.
Those in possession of a controlled substance without permission or justification may face legal ramifications, including fines, jail time, and loss of privileges like a driver’s license. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce or remove these penalties if you have been charged with possession. Distribution of a controlled substance constitutes a similar situation; manufacturing, creating, delivering, or possessing a substance with the intent to share it is a legally punishable offense, even if the possessor themselves does not intend to use the drug.
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Drug Paraphernalia Possession
In many ways, possession of drug paraphernalia—that is, a pipe or other device for the smoking or injection of illegal substances—is similar to possession of the substances themselves. Having these items on or with you can carry legal consequences, though simple possession will likely see a lighter punishment than intent to distribute paraphernalia. The illegal substances themselves do not need to be present in order for law enforcement to take action in cases of drug paraphernalia possession.
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Speak To A Criminal Defense Attorney
Drug charges do not necessarily mean long prison sentences or high fines. If you have been in contact with law enforcement due to a drug-related charge, you have options to mitigate the actions taken against you. A skilled criminal defense attorney can work on your behalf to convince the court to treat you with leniency or even get your case dismissed.
Even if you are not in trouble due to a drug charge, if you believe that you are under investigation, a lawyer can help you respond to police questioning or property searches. Get in touch with The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge to ensure that your drug-related case is handled thoroughly with attorneys who will fight aggressively for you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.