Drug abuse crimes involve the use of any illegal drugs, substances, or intoxicants. These are usually filed under drug use or drug possession laws. Drug crimes are among the most serious types of criminal charges, and can often result in major legal penalties. Drug abuse crimes can also involve an improper or illegal use of legal substances, such as prescription drugs or other chemical substances.
What Are Some Examples of Drug Abuse Crimes?
Some examples of drug abuse crimes include:
- Possession of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and other controlled substances
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Public intoxication
- Intoxication while on the job
Drug distribution crimes are generally filed in a different category than drug possession or drug use charges. Generally speaking, drug distribution is a much more serious offense than drug use. However, possession of a large amount of substances may lead to an automatic assumption that the person is intending to sell the drugs.
Legal penalties for drug crimes may involve fines, jail time, and other consequences, such as a loss of child custody or a loss of driving privileges.
Are There Any Defenses to Drug Abuse Crimes?
Drug abuse is a somewhat difficult crime to defend against. However, there are some defenses that may be available, depending on the facts. One defense is unintentional intoxication. This is where the person is under the influence of drugs unknowingly or unwillingly. For instance, it may be a defense if the person was drugged by another person, or if they were forced to take drugs under the threat of death or violence.
Another defense is where there is a defect with the drug-testing equipment used by the police or an employer. This can happen for instance, if the results of all employees or all persons at a police station are erroneous. Various other defenses may apply as well, depending on the facts of the circumstances.
A third defense is if you contacted the authorities to obtain medical help for yourself or another person in response to an overdose. In this instance, drug overdose immunity, which prohibits the arrest of someone seeking medical attention for an overdose, may apply.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Drug Abuse Crimes?
It may be necessary to hire a lawyer if you have any questions or legal issues involving the drug laws in your state. Your criminal defense lawyer will be able to provide you with legal guidance and representation during the court hearings, and can instruct you on how you should proceed. Also, your attorney help determine whether any alternative sentencing options are available.