If you are facing a drug charge, you need the help of a skilled drug charge lawyer. However, you should also familiarize yourself with how different drug charges may be prosecuted. The most common drug charges include possession, trafficking, and distribution. You should also familiarize yourself with how the law treats different types of drugs. Read on to learn more about the different categories of drug charges in Woodridge, IL.
Categories of drug charges
Drug trafficking is one of the most serious types of drug charges. It is a felony, no matter what the substance is or how much of the substance was involved. Many people mix up drug trafficking and drug distribution. To put it simply, drug distribution is selling drugs. Drug trafficking, on the other hand, refers to transporting a shipment of drugs across state lines.
Drug distribution is usually selling drugs, but exchanging drugs or even simply delivering drugs can all warrant a drug distribution charge. Drug distribution is usually a felony, though selling small amounts of cannabis may be a misdemeanor. Street-level dealers are most often charged with distribution, though the middlemen who sell to the dealers can be charged with distribution, as well. It can be difficult for prosecutors to prove distribution unless a law enforcement officer witnesses a sale. Otherwise, they will have to try and prove that the accused attempted to transfer the drugs.
Manufacturing drugs is usually a felony. It can be difficult for prosecutors to prove a drug manufacturing charge, as the accused must have been in possession of manufacturing materials and must have the intent to manufacture. Simply possession of drug-making materials is not sufficient for a drug manufacturing charge, as many drug-making materials are common household items.
While most people associate DUI charges with alcohol abuse, driving while on drugs is also grounds for a DUI charge. A DUI charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. If police obtain a court order, they are allowed to test your blood and urine for drug metabolites. If these metabolites are present at a time and level that indicates the accused was high while driving, a DUI charge may follow. However, it can be very difficult for prosecutors to prove that the accused was high when they were driving, as the metabolites could be from earlier that day or even the previous day.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor charge. It covers the possession of items like glass pipes, bongs, syringes, and scales. The possession of any items associated with using or distributing drugs can warrant a drug paraphernalia charge. It can be difficult for prosecutors to prove that a scale or a syringe was intended to be used for distributing or using drugs.
Possession with Intent
Prosecutors often file charges of possession with intent to distribute if the accused is found to be in possession of a large amount of drugs. This charge is usually classified as a felony. There are limits for each type of drug. If the accused is in possession of less than the specified amount of drugs, they are charged with simple possession. If they are in possession of more than this limit, the accused will usually be charged with possession with intent to distribute. In some jurisdictions, it is mandatory for prosecutors to file a charge of possession with intent if the accused was found to be in possession of a large amount of drugs.
Categories of Illegal Drugs
Just as there are different categories of drug offenses, criminal law separates illegal and controlled substances into different categories. There are five federal drug schedules, ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V. Most states have drug schedules that closely follow federal scheduling conventions. Offenses associated with Schedule I drugs generally carry the most severe penalties, while offenses associated with Schedule V drugs usually carry the least severe penalties.
Schedule I Drugs
Schedule I drugs are considered to be very dangerous and very addictive. The most common recreation drugs are Schedule I drugs. Drugs on the federal Schedule I include cannabis, heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. These drugs, according to the federal government, have no medical use. Some activists have called for the federal government to remove cannabis from Schedule I, as it does have accepted medical uses.
Schedule II Drugs
Schedule II drugs are considered to be dangerous and addictive, though not to the same extent as Schedule I drugs. Schedule II drugs may have some limited medical uses. Cocaine and methamphetamine are considered Schedule II drugs primarily because they do have medical uses. The strongest opioids are Schedule II drugs.
Schedule III Drugs
Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, ketamine, testosterone, and weaker opioids. These drugs are moderately dangerous and addictive. They do have some legitimate medical uses.
Schedule IV Drugs
Schedule IV drugs have a low risk of dependence and addiction. These drugs are all pharmaceuticals. The list includes Xanax, Ambien, and Valium.
Schedule V Drugs
Schedule V drugs have an even lower risk of dependence and addiction than Schedule IV drugs. The most well-known Schedule V drug is probably Robitussin. This is used to make an illegal drink known as “lean.”
Finding a good drug defense lawyer
If you need to find a good drug defense lawyer, you should look for an attorney that specializes in drug cases. The law regarding drug offenses is quite complex, and the average criminal defense attorney may not know it inside and out. You should also look for an attorney that has many years of experience.