Four Things to Know About Drug Charges
If you were recently arrested for drug charges, you should first be aware of how to handle the case and what the potential consequences might be. This helps you to figure out if you need a lawyer and what type of defense you might have.
Possession is Different Than Distribution
Drug charges can vary based on the details of the arrest, such as if you were found to be in possession of drugs, under the influence of them, or actually caught distributing them. Some areas will have harsher penalties if you were distributing them, as opposed to just being in possession of them or using them in your own home. Where you were found with them, who you put at risk, and if you were manufacturing them in your own home can also determine the punishment. For example, if you were distributing illegal drugs near a school, it might be a harsher penalty than possessing it in a home with no children around.
You May Get Jail Time
Depending on the type of drug charge, you might be looking at possible jail time if you are found guilty of the crimes. This also varies based on the type of drug charge and the details around the case. Being caught manufacturing or distributing illegal drugs often has a jail sentence, though the length of time could be reduced if you provide names of other people involved in the distribution. If you were arrested for being in possession of drugs that you were only using for personal reasons, you might have a greater chance of avoiding jail time, but instead have punishments like paying high penalties and completing a drug treatment program that is approved by the courts.
Repeat Offenses Call For Higher Penalties
If this is not your first time being arrested for a drug charge of similar nature, you have a higher risk of paying more in penalties and spending some time in jail. When you have repeat offenses, it is best that you hire a good criminal attorney who can hopefully help you enter a plea deal and get a lesser charge.
Driving Under the Influence Can Change the Charges
Consider the circumstances around how you were arrested for the drug crime. If you were not only found to be in possession of drugs but were under the influence of drugs and alcohol while driving, it could also change the outcome of your charges. For example, driving while under the influence puts others in danger, which means you could be facing higher penalties and lose your driver's license for a specific period of time until completing drug and alcohol counseling.
Contact a local attorney for further information on criminal compensation.