The best way to avoid being charged with any type of drug crime is to stop using, handling, or selling illegal drugs. But that’s easier said than done, right? Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people are convicted of drug-related crimes around the world every year. What should one do if they find themselves in such a situation?
The outcome of the charges depends on whether you plead guilty or whether you can defend yourself. Your best bet at avoiding arrest and sentencing would be to hire an experienced drug lawyer in Sydney to walk with you through the legal process. Getting professional legal help helps you ease the penalties for drug crimes which are particularly severe. You’ll also get a clear understanding of how the criminal justice system works.
What is drug possession and why is it illegal?
Drug manufacturing, usage, handling, or selling are major challenges in almost all parts of the world and have been for centuries. The war on drugs has made many drugs illegal because they’re a danger to public health. When someone is found in possession of illegal drugs, criminal charges are presses and he/she could end up in prison.
There are laws in place that warn people against using or possessing illegal drugs. The laws may change from time to time depending on the laws passed. For example, in Colorado, if someone is found in possession of marijuana he/she will not be arrested. Always do your due diligence to make sure that you’re not on the wrong side of the law.
Keep in mind that prescription drugs may also be abused. So if the person possessing them doesn’t have a valid prescription from a licensed medical practitioner they may also find themselves in trouble.
Types of drug charges/crimes
There are different types of drug crimes whose charges are largely dependent on the type of drug crime, drugs that one is found in possession of, the quantity, and the person’s record. This means that come drug charges are far more serious than others. Listed below are the five main types of drug crimes:
- Drug paraphernalia
This refers to different items that are used to prepare illegal drugs, inhale, inject, or conceal them. It’s unlawful to import, export, or sell any type of drug paraphernalia including and not limited to bongs, rolling papers, and syringes.
People try to be smart by designing the paraphernalia to seem like it’s designed for legal use. For example, bongs are manufactured with labels indicating that they’re strictly for use with tobacco.
- Drug possession
Possessing controlled substances like marijuana can cause you to be charged with simple possession or possession with intent to distribute. The former applies if you only have the drug in a small quantity while the latter applies if you have the drug in large quantities.
Simple possession is usually the least serious drug charge you can get. Being in possession with the intent to distribute attracts a harsher penalty. Often times drug paraphernalia charges may apply here as well. Possessing large amounts of the drug could also lead the police to believe that you intend to sell them and they may charge you with trafficking.
- Drug trafficking
Drug trafficking is a pretty serious crime and refers to situations where controlled substances are exchanged for money internationally. You’ll most probably be charged with this crime if you’re caught transporting large amounts of illegal drugs from the point of manufacture to the point of distribution.
People charged with drug trafficking are sentenced to anywhere from 3 years to life imprisonment.
- Drug manufacturing
You’ll be charged with this felony if you’re suspected of growing or producing a controlled substance. You will also be hit with this charge if you are alleged to play any part in the manufacture e.g. if you till the cultivation land.
The severity of the sentence depends on the kind of drug and how much of it you’re charged with manufacturing.
- Drug dealing
This basically refers to the act of selling illegal drugs on a smaller scale. This usually comprises of one person selling a small amount of illegal drugs. The punishment here is less severe compared to drug trafficking.
Some of the most addictive and most controlled drugs are heroin, cocaine, meth, and marijuana. There are other drugs like ecstasy that don’t carry very strict punishments for possession. To be on the safe side, health-wise and with the law, it’s best to seek professional treatment in an addiction center. Quitting addictive drugs is incredibly difficult. We ought to give people around us who are struggling with addiction our support on their healing journey. If you know someone who’s looking to turn their life around, understand that addiction is like a disease and purpose is to help them change. This will help them avoid ending up in the legal system on drug charges.