Drug crimes are offenses that involve controlled substances. Illegal drugs are substances that the law declared illegal to use, distribute, sell, or possess, especially with none authorization from the state or federal laws. These illicit drugs are classified in ranks determining the extent of its risks to people. Controlled substances are subject to the government’s monitoring and intensive control to safeguard the general public from the risks brought by these substances.
Illicit drugs are categorized into groups. The creation, possession, control, and distribution of these illegal drugs are illegal without authorization of proper use. The penalties are often determined by the quantity of contraband under possession, as well as the intention of the defendant for carrying the illegal substances. The difference between a legal and illegal drug depends on the usage. If the usage is for pharmaceutical’s medicinal concoction, then it is often legal. If the usage of controlled substances is for illegal purposes, then it is often considered a criminal offense.
Five Categories of Controlled Substances
There are currently five categories of illegal substances. This includes narcotics, hallucinogens, cannabis, depressants, and stimulants.
This drug is used on medicines because it can be used to regulate or relieve pain. Narcotics is addictive and induces sleep. Samples of narcotics substances are codeine and morphine.
Stimulants are substances that will excite and activate the systema nervosum, also producing more energy. This drug is very addictive. Stimulants include crack cocaine, caffeine-based drugs, amphetamines, and cocaine.
This drug category includes substances that are directly taken from the hemp plant. Examples of this drug type include hashish, synthetic marijuana variants, and marijuana.
Depressants are drugs that are made to reduce anxiety and tension. Examples include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opioids.
This drug category can supply an altered psychological state which may change how an individual perceives reality. Samples of hallucinogens include mescaline, peyote, and LSD.
These substances have medical purposes. However, they are often abused which may be harmful to the individual or those around an illegal substance abuser. This causes criminal charges. Drug charges can range from the possession, intent to sell or distribute, and manufacturing. The sentence and penalty of the fees are determined by the quantity of the contraband, also because of the intention of what they are going to do with the illegal substance. People that face charges will need a reliable drug crime defense attorney who knows the way to properly guide the defendant and navigate the system.
Top 3 Defenses that can be used for Drug Crimes
When an individual is caught in the middle of a drug charge, there are legal defenses that will help the defendant. Several common drug crime defenses are illegal search and seizure, unwitting possession, medical marijuana, and police abuse of power.
Police Abuse of Power
Police abuse of power is often used as evidence but needs proper evidence to be used in court. Examples are planting of evidence, pressure tactics on witnesses or suspects, and unauthorized surveillance. Nonetheless, police are allowed to lie when utilizing undercover agents or when promising leniency on suspects.
Unwitting possession means the defendant has an illegal drug in his possession without knowing it. An example of the unwitting possession defense is when an individual borrows a car from somebody else who has an illegal substance in the vehicle. Some states allow this as a defense. However, some states would not allow the unwitting possession defense to be used in court. During this case, the defendant will have the burden to prove that he or she does not know of the drug.
Illegal Search and Seizure
This defense is often used when the police obtained the evidence without warrants or automobiles with no evidence. Evidence illegally taken could be suppressed in court proceedings. It is almost like the police abuse of power, including illegal methods used by police when proving a case.
Drug crimes can face convictions with varying degrees. It can include probation, parole, imprisonment, or hefty fines. Some drug charges are counted as a felony which can be difficult to get rid of from a record. Defendants must work with experienced drug defense lawyers to assist them to have a far better chance in their cases.