If you are accused of a drug crime, you may find yourself in a very tough position. Depending on a number of factors, drug crimes can range from simple infractions to misdemeanors and even serious State and/or Federal Felony Crimes.
It is essential to know that possession, manufacturing, cultivation, trafficking, and distribution of substances, such as cocaine, heroin, opium, methamphetamine, etc., are illegal both federally and in all states. A conviction of such drug charges can have harsh consequences. And yes, you can be charged and convicted for the same crime twice in two different jurisdictions. Although, in the United States Capital Punishment (Death Penalty) is not allowed for drug related crimes.
The reason, we do not touch upon Marijuana Laws in this brief article is because some states have enacted medical marijuana laws, which allow physicians to prescribe the drug for certain illnesses. Thus qualified users in such states could be exempt from state criminal prosecution on marijuana-related drug charges. Some states have even gone further by legalizing marijuana for recreational use as well.
The United States Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970. This Act incorporated a highly complicated series of laws and procedures dealing with possession, use and distribution of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, opium, marijuana, etc.
Pursuant to CSA, in 1973 a new Federal Agency called Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was established. The DEA, which operates under the U.S. Department of Justice, is responsible for dealing with drug smuggling and drug abuse within the United States. Moreover, the DEA has also been endowed with the power to deal with Drug issues, Internationally. DEA can also directly work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
CSA not only regulates drug possession, use or trade, it also makes it illegal to possess drug paraphernalia; which are items that are used in relations to drugs. Such paraphernalia are generally divided into two main groups: those used to distribute drugs and those used to ingest them.
This distinction is highly important and complicated. Since household items such as a kitchen scale, knife or a spoon could be also used in a trade and consumption of illegal drugs.
Please remember that the medical use of marijuana or recreational use of such, in states that have legalized it, is not a defense to federal drug charges.
You should also remember that a conviction for a drug crime may lead to many other negative consequences; such as loss of employment or not being able to secure a job; seizure of property and social castigation.
Regardless of the crime charged, an accused is presumed innocent until the government proves all elements of the charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. A capable and Compassionate Criminal Defense Lawyer who specializes in Drug Crimes can make sure that all your rights protected.
If you are charged with a drug crime, it is important for you to know and demand your constitutional rights, right away! That is because what you say and do could be held against you, in a court of law!
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