If you or someone you know are facing charges for a drug offense, you need to seek legal representation from a drug crime lawyer. Drug crime lawyers are criminal defense attorneys specializing in drug-related crimes, and they will be the best prepared to defend you in a court of law and ensure your rights are protected.
What Do Drug Crime Lawyers Do?
In trials regarding drug crimes, a drug crime lawyer will:
- Investigate the pressed charges
- Be in charge of negotiating plea deals with the case prosecutor
- Interview witnesses
- Gather evidence
- Define a plea
- Defend their client from the claims presented against them
- Review search and seizure procedures
Seeking representation from a specialized drug crime lawyer entails receiving support during every step of the trial process, from keeping you informed on how your case can be affected by state and federal laws, developing a defense strategy, and representing you during the trial process.
Types of Drug Crimes
There are different kinds of drug-related crimes, all related to the use, manufacturing, or distribution of controlled substances. The penalties will differ depending on the crime, the state where the crime happened, and a series of additional factors.
The most common drug crimes are:
- Drug possession
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug use
- Drug distribution or drug trafficking
Drug possession is the most common drug-related crime, which entails knowingly and intentionally carrying or possessing an illegal drug without a valid prescription. It is not inherently illegal to possess a drug and this also depends on your state. However, it becomes a crime when you are found to be in possession or using a substance without legal authorization.
Drug manufacturing includes creating or producing synthetic, chemical drugs, as well as extracting natural drugs. Packaging drugs is also considered to be a part of the drug manufacturing process and is regarded as a crime.
Closely related to drug manufacturing is the crime of drug conspiracy, which is a charge you could face if found to be involved in some part of the drug manufacturing process, even if you weren’t physically present at the time of the arrest.
Drug use is simply consuming controlled substances without authorization to do so. If you are found consuming an illegal drug without a doctor’s prescription, it is considered a crime, and you will be arrested and face criminal drug charges.
Drug Distribution or Drug Trafficking
Distribution, traffic, or drug dealing includes selling or delivering illegal drugs. Drug distribution also includes transporting drugs from one area to another with the intention of selling them.
In all drug-related crimes, there are aggravating factors that will affect the severity of the criminal charges faced. These include:
- The type of drug involved in the crime
- The amount of drug
- Prior convictions
- Purpose of possession (personal or for distribution)
- Parole status
Differences Between State and Federal Drug Charges
Depending on the severity of the crime, it will be considered a state offense or a federal offense. If you are found to be in possession of a small amount of a controlled substance, and if it is a first-time offense, it will likely be a state charge. For more severe offenses such as trafficking large quantities, manufacturing, or for offenders with a lengthy criminal history, it’s possible the charges could be taken to the federal court. The penalties if found guilty for federal drug charges are usually more severe than for state charges.
Do You Need a Drug Crime Lawyer?
In any drug-related case, the accused should seek legal counsel and representation from an experienced drug crime attorney or law firm. If you are facing criminal charges for a drug crime, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Martinez Firm has many years of experience with drug-related cases and our team will make sure to accompany you during your legal process and provide you with the defense you deserve in order for your rights to be protected.