If you or someone you know has recently been arrested for a drug-related crime, you might be wondering more about this type of law and what exactly is considered a legal or illegal drug. Here is more information on drug-related crimes including what you should know about defending your case if you are arrested for this type of crime and what type of punishment you might be looking at.
The Difference Between Legal and Illegal Drugs
The province you live in might determine what is considered legal or illegal, though overall, this is decided by how the drug is being used. For example, certain narcotics like barbiturates and amphetamines are prescribed to patients struggling with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, or anxiety, which is legal. However, if they are purchased off the street without a prescription and abused, they become illegal.
Distribution and Trafficking
If your drug charge was for distribution and/or trafficking, it means that you are suspected of providing a controlled, illegal substance through delivery, distribution or selling of that drug. If you tried to sell drugs to someone who turned out to be an undercover officer, you can be arrested for distribution. Trafficking is the term used when you are selling a certain amount of drugs, as opposed to the distance it travels, which is a common misconception with drug charges.
The type of conviction you get for these drug-related charges depends on a number of factors. This includes the type of controlled substance and how much was distributed or sold, the location where you were apprehended, and what your criminal history is.
One of the most common drug charges is possession, which means you were found to have drugs on your person or on your personal property, such as your vehicle or your home. In order to get convicted for a possession charge, the local courts must prove you were in possession of the drug without a valid prescription, were knowingly in possession of the controlled substance, and had enough on your person for using yourself, or selling to others. You can even get a charge if you are in possession of drug paraphernalia even if you don't have the actual substance on hand, such as cocaine pipes, syringes, or scales.
Another drug charge you might be arrested for is manufacturing of a controlled substance. This means you are producing, growing, or cultivating a controlled substance, such as growing marijuana plants or having cannabis seeds in your home. You may also have a laboratory where you make narcotics, such as heroin, cocaine, LSD or methamphetamine. These charges are often higher than simple possession because of the public threat they pose.
Regardless of the drug charge, you should consult a criminal defense attorney with experience dealing with drug-related crimes.
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