Anyone accused of a drug offense can face misdemeanor or felony charges from federal, state, or local law enforcement authorities. Charges will depend on the specifics of the case and the individual laws of the jurisdiction where the alleged offense took place. The penalties can range from fines and nominal jail time to life in prison or even the death penalty. An experienced drug crime defense attorney will work to have their client's drug charges dismissed or the penalties reduced. A capable drug crime defense attorney will investigate the particular circumstances of the arrest and will consider the procedural and behavioral aspects by officials surrounding the case. In brief, a drug crime defense attorney will fight for his/her client's rights and ensure that their client gets a fair trial.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies share the responsibility for enforcing the Nation's drug laws. The agencies concede that most drug related arrests are made by state and local law enforcement authorities.
Data compiled in the last Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) revealed that there were close to two million arrests made by state and local authorities for drug abuse violations in the United States. The UCR identifies drug abuse violations as any state and/or local offenses relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, cultivation, manufacture, and making of narcotic drugs. As defined by the UCR and the FBI, narcotic drugs include opium or cocaine and their derivatives, marijuana, synthetic narcotics, and dangerous nonnarcotic drugs such as barbiturates.
The report also noted that from 1987 to 1995, the majority of drug arrests involved heroin or cocaine. However, since 1996, arrests involving marijuana have exceeded arrest involving all other types of drugs. According to the UCR, arrests for the possession of drugs make up 82.5% of all arrest in the U.S.
Arrests for possession by specific drug include:
A drug crime defense attorney is your best protection if you are charged with a drug offense. Depending on the jurisdiction, a drug crime defense attorney can help broker a deal with prosecutors to reduce if not eliminate your drug charges that will keep your record clean. These deals can include drug treatment or drug counseling classes in exchange for eliminating a drug offence sentence or dropping the drug charges.
Contact a criminal defense attorney experienced in drug offences immediately if you or a loved one is charged with any type of drug offence.