While marijuana is gradually being legalized in phases throughout the United States, drugs are still criminalized. There are different types of drug-related crimes, and each type of crime varies in severity.
Drug-related crimes can occur at a local, state, or federal level. The expense, severity, and ensuing punishment varies depending on the size and scope of the case, and the level of the court to which the charges are brought.
Most drug cases fall into these categories:
- Cultivation/Manufacturing: Any individual will be charged with cultivation/manufacturing if they are involved in any step of the drug-growing or production process.
- Distribution and Trafficking: If an individual delivers, provides, or sells any illegal drugs or substances, the individual is charged with distribution. Trafficking occurs in the illegal distribution or sale of controlled or illegal substances.
- Possession: This is the most common type of drug charge, and usually pertains to marijuana possession in states where the possession of marijuana is illegal. If an individual has possession of an illegal drug without official permission or a prescription, it is referred to as “simple possession”, and usually implies that there was no intent to distribute the drug.
- Dealing: While similar to trafficking, “dealing” is generally a smaller-scale charge where the distribution of drugs usually comes from one individual, and they are making fewer and smaller-sized sales than a trafficker or distributor.
- Paraphernalia: The possession of any equipment that is generally associated with the consumption or cultivation of drugs. This may include syringes, bongs, rolling paper, different glass pipes, etc.
There are also three types of crimes associated with drugs and drug use:
- Use-Related Crimes: Anything that happens as an effect of drugs being consumed by an individual, including violent acts, reckless driving, manslaughter, etc.
- Economic-Related Crimes: Whenever an individual commits an illegal act to fund a drug habit. The most common types of economic-related crime include prostitution, robbery, and theft.
- System-Related Crimes: Any crime which occurs within the drug system itself—this crime encompasses the five types of drug-related crimes listed above (cultivation/manufacturing, distribution/trafficking, possession, dealing, paraphernalia).
Drug-related crimes cost the tax payers millions of dollars, and cost those involved in drug-related crime thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal fees, fines, and years in prison at the state or federal level. Depending on the severity of the crime, the amount of drugs involved, and the details pertaining to the case, an individual charged with a drug-related crime can face a fine, months in prison, years in prison, or even life in prison. Drug-related criminal cases involve high penalties, may last a long time, and will affect the lives of everyone involved.
If you, or someone you love, has been charged with a drug-related crime in Miami, arm yourself with one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state, and find yourself well-defended with a thorough and intelligent legal team. Contact the team of criminal defense attorneys at Pagán & Stroleny, P.L today!