Felony Drug Charges
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What Are Felony Drug Charges?
Felony drug charges are among the most serious types of crimes according to most state laws. These types of charges involve drug crimes that are deemed highly dangerous to the safety and welfare of the general public. Felony drug crimes typically result in severe criminal penalties. In contrast, misdemeanor charges (usually simple possession charges) result in less serious consequences, such as small criminal fines and some time in jail.
What Are Some Examples of Felony Drug Charges?
Some common examples of felony drug charges include:
- Possession of drugs over a certain amount: Possessing large quantities of drugs can result in felony charges. The amount possessed required for a felony charge may differ according to the type of drug and according to state laws. Drug “schedules” classify drugs according to how dangerous they are.
- Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute: Possessing a large amount of drugs may create the inference that the person intends to distribute it. Also, possession of paraphernalia associated with drug trafficking can also create proof of intent to distribute.
- Actual distribution or drug trafficking activity: Getting caught in the act of distribution will usually result in felony drug charges.
- Possession or distribution of drugs in a similar restricted area: For instance, possession of drugs on or near school grounds can result in felony charges.
Lastly, repeat offenses can often “elevate” what would be misdemeanor charges into a felony charge. Repeat felony offenses can lead to very harsh penalties in some states.
What Are the Legal Consequences of Felony Drug Charges?
Felony drug charges usually result in very high criminal fines (in the thousands of dollars), as well as a sentence in prison of at least a year. Some felony drug convictions can result in prison sentences of 10-20 years, or even more. The amount of time sentenced can be dependent on various factors. For instance, sentences typically increase with the amount of drugs that the person is found to be in possession of.
As mentioned, repeat offenses will also create stiffer penalties for the defendant. As with any felony charge, felony drug charges are much more difficult to have erased or expunged from one’s record.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Felony Drug Charges?
Felony drug charges can be very difficult to deal with due to their serious nature. It’s in your best interests to work closely with an experienced criminal law attorney if you or a loved one needs assistance with felony drug charges. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and can help determine whether there are any defenses available for your case.
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Last Modified: 10-04-2013 12:14 PM PDT
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