Crystal meth is a street name for methamphetamine, which is a type of synthetic stimulant. The drug resembles crystals, hence its name. It is often classified as either a Schedule II or Schedule III substance, making it illegal to possess for personal use or distribution. Crystal meth can be ingested, injected, or smoked. It is a highly addictive substance and can lead to many different personal, medical, and legal problems.
In recent years, law enforcement officials have seen a nationwide explosion of crystal meth use and distribution. The situation is becoming worse due to new methods of producing the drug. In the past, entire garages or rooms were converted into meth labs. These were often very dangerous and could be detected somewhat easily. Currently, new methods may allow persons to make the drug with much fewer materials. This makes it difficult for law enforcement to track down producers of the drug.
Among addictive street drugs, crystal meth is associated with particularly specific crimes, including:
- Theft crimes– Users frequently steal to support the habit.
- Assault and battery– Users often become hostile. Also, physical strength and inhibition may increase dramatically.
- Resisting arrest– Users may become so strong that it takes 4 or 5 police officers to subdue the person.
- Gang activity– Crystal meth is often linked to gang activity and violence.
- Pseudoephedrine violations– Pseudoephedrine is one of the substances used to make meth. It is contained in many over-the-counter medicines. Some states limit the amount of pseudoephedrine products that a person can purchase in a single day.
Lastly, many crystal meth users experience paranoia and hallucination. This can increase the occurrence of violent crime and property crime among users. As such, the insanity defense can sometimes apply in many crystal meth cases.
Criminal penalties for crystal meth crimes are getting stricter. Possession can result in fines of anywhere from $1,000 to $500,000, depending on the amount and the circumstances. Jail time can range from less than one year to over 20 years.
For sale or distribution of methamphetamines, fines can range from $5,000 to $1,000,000. Jail time may increase as well. Also, repeat offenses for possession or sale can cause the defendant to face greater consequences. Some jurisdictions impose felony charges for all crystal meth charges.
Crystal meth charges can be very serious and will lead to major criminal penalties. You may wish to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you or a loved one needs assistance with drug charges. An attorney can provide you with legal advice and representation for your case. Also, if you need any information regarding new laws in your state, your attorney can keep you updated on any changes that might affect you.