What Is A Drug Charge?

Arrest in of itself can be a life-changing and stressful experience. Not only is the person being arrested having their life suddenly thrown off the tracks but so it the life of their family and friends. A drug charge is a serious offense that can end in serious consequences such as jail fine, and hefty fines that make it hard for the accused to bounce back. Knowing what constitutes as a drug charge and their consequences can help you, or someone you know, stay out of trouble. 

What Is A Drug Charge?

Drug charge arrest

Drug charges generally lead to jail time. 

A drug charge is the accusation that a person or group of people have been found in the possession of illegal drugs or paraphernalia. The charge depends heavily on the type of drug found and the intent of the drug. A drug charge does not mean that you are initially guilty, it does mean that there is evidence stacked against you. Being able to hire a good lawyer and having time to figure out your options is one of your best bets in proving your innocence.

What Are The Consequences Of A Drug Charge?

Heavy penalties are what face those who have been convicted of a drug charge. The initial consequences may seem bad at first but in reality, it is the consequences that present themselves after you have finished your time in jail that can make it harder for you to reach your goals. 

Here are some of the immediate consequences for a drug charge

  • Jail or federal prison time
  • Hefty, hefty fines
  • Time with Community Service
  • Probation
  • House arrest

Once you have completed your jail time, you will find that life on the outside isn’t the same as before you went in. You will have a harder time finding a job and housing after you have been convicted of a crime, as people will pass up your application in favor of a more law-abiding citizen. You may not be able to apply for colleges or even college loans. The right to vote and the right to own a gun will be stripped with you, as well as your ability to hold public office and join the military. 

What Kind Of Drugs Fall Under The Risk Of A Drugs Charge?

With the changing laws on certain drugs, it can be a bit unclear as to which drugs will land you with a drug charge. We have taken the time to go through the different degrees of drug charges as well as the drugs that fall under each charge. 

Schedule 1

Heroin, GHB, LSD, and Marijuana all fall under the schedule one category, as they are considered non-medical drugs. All four of these drugs are highly addictive and have a higher chance of abuse. (Over recent years though, it has been passed around to put marijuana under different categories, as the drug has been found to have some positive uses in the medical field, and because some states are already legalizing it, such as California.)

Schedule 2

Cocaine, meth, opium, and highly controlled prescriptions such as morphine, and oxycodone fall under schedule 2 because they are highly addictive but have some medical uses. If you are caught with these drugs and do not have a prescription to use them, then the consequences can be extremely severe.

Schedule 3

Are drugs that have a wider medical acceptance, such as steroids, ketamine, and Vicodin. These are drugs are still considered addictive but not as much as schedule 1 and 2.

Schedule 4 and 5

Are all prescription medicines that people can abuse by illegally sharing them or for having them in their possession without a proper prescription from a legitimate doctor.

How Long Is The Jail Sentence For Drug Possession?

 

Consequences of Jail

The consequences of going to jail reach farther than the time spent behind bars. 

Jail time depends on the type of drug charge and what was the intent behind having the drugs in your possession in the first place. Having drugs for personal use is a lot different than having drugs for distributions.

Possession

Possession is generally charged for people who have been caught with a smaller amount of drugs. Jail time for a possession drug charge varies depending on state and the amount of drug found on a person during the crime. Generally, the amount of jail time is about a year along with a fine that can range anywhere from $500-5,000. The possession of drugs is generally considered a misdemeanor and not a federal offense. 

Distribution Or Sale Of Drugs

If you are caught selling or distributing drugs, then you will be charged with a federal offense. Again, the penalties vary case by case but it is common to see about 40 years of prison along with a fine that can range up to $100,000. 

Selling drugs to a minor will land you in even more trouble and harsher fines. Any charge of selling or distributing drugs go up at least five years when a minor is involved. (Also, most judges will not hear the defense of, “I didn’t know their age.”)

In order to be charged with a sale or distribution of drugs charge, the person has to be in possession of large amounts of cash that have no explanation as to where it came from, large amounts of the drug, and equipment that is used for the dividing and packaging of drugs for sale.

Smuggling Drugs

Smuggling drugs is a federal offense and carry with it hefty jail time that starts at 5 years and then climbs depending on how much of the drug was on the person when they were caught. The minimum fine charge is $5 million dollars, and if you are like a majority of Americans, then there is no way in your wildest dreams that you would be able to afford that. You would literally be in debt up to your eyeballs.

What Makes A Crime A Felony or A Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor

Misdemeanors refer to non-violent crimes.  

The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor has to deal with the intent of the crime. A crime that has a violent or even malicious intent is considered a felony. Misdemeanors generally involve non-violent crimes, as they have no intention of harming anyone (albeit themselves.)

Are There Any Misdemeanor Drug Charges?

Typically, drug possession with no intent to sell is usually considered a misdemeanor. This is because the drug was intended for personal use/recreation and poses no real threat towards the general public.

What If I Have A Minor Who Has Been Accused Of A Drugs Charge?

Minors are generally treated differently than adults. If you have a minor charged with drugs, they may end up doing community service, could potentially face jail time (depending on how old they are), face fines, and end up going into rehabilitation. (Which in retrospect, may help them.)

Is There A Way That I Can Beat My Drug Charge?

Your best defense against a drug charge is to avoid putting yourself in the situation of getting one altogether. If you or someone you know is struggling with the ugly addictive of drugs, it isn’t too late, there is always hope. There are programs across the United States that are designed to help you beat your addiction and help you regain control of your life. The only catch to this is, is that the person suffering from the addiction is in charge of getting help. No one can do it for them. Change is something personal, and usually, people don’t even begin to notice the need for it until they hit rock bottom. 

If you already find yourself or someone you know in the position of being faced with a drug charge, and they are being held until they can post bail. then turn to Bail Shop, LLC. We help you by helping front the money for bail, giving you time to get your attorney and your defense on board, to help you face your day in court. If you are looking for someone to help you out in your time of need then call us at 888-224-5711 in Lebanon and Reading, PA.