Simply using an illegal substance (or legal substance illegally) is not the only thing that can get you in trouble with the law. Possessing, trafficking, and selling drugs are just as serious offenses that can upheave the lives of those involved. Learning about these different offenses and how they can impact your life may make you think twice about doing anything related to drugs. Here are the different types of crimes and the penalties for them.
Someone may be accused of drug possession if there is no clear intention to sell it or give it to another person. Usually, the person only has a small amount of the substance on their person. The most common penalty for possession and use is jail time. Hefty fines are almost always applied, and they may increase depending on the drug and if the offender has possessed it before. Specific laws change from state to state, so your sentence may be longer depending on where you live.
Selling drugs is considered much worse than possession and can result in years of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. The exact sentence will vary between states but expect several decades and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Selling drugs to a minor is an even greater offense that can tack on more years to the sentence. You also cannot employ a minor to deliver or sell drugs. You do not have to carry enormous amounts of certain drugs to get pinned for the intent to sell.
Anyone caught smuggling drugs across the border is committing a federal offense that is guaranteed years of prison time. The more serious the drug being smuggled, the greater the prison time and the potential for millions of dollars in fines. If anyone gets injured because of trafficking activities, the penalties are more severe.
Levels of Severity
Not all drugs are the same, and they are treated differently to determine sentencing and fines. Schedule I substances are considered the worst, as they have no medical benefit. It includes heroin, LSD, peyote, and ecstasy. Schedule V drugs pose the least risks and include drugs like Lyrica and cough medicine.
Things to Remember
A person who has been charged with the same drug-related crime in the past is far more likely to get harsher punishments. This includes longer jail time and steeper fines. If you’ve been accused of a drug-related crime, consider contacting a lawyer, like a drug lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, as soon as possible.