Although any criminal charge is serious, some are deemed more serious by law enforcement than others. In particular, drug charges can have a long term affect on a person’s life. They can prevent a person from receiving student loans. They can result in a person losing their right to own a gun. If the charge is a felony, then it can result in years in prison.
Keep reading to find out what three factors the prosecution will consider when deciding whether or not to charge a drug crime as a felony or misdemeanor. If you have been charged with a drug crime then we encourage you to contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at 909-920-0908 now for a free legal consultation.
1. The Type of Drugs and the Amount of Drugs
The type of drugs you are caught with will impact how you are charged. Likewise, the amount of drugs will be factor. For example, if a person is caught with heroin or cocaine, they may face automatic felony charges. Other drugs may lead to misdemeanor charges unless you rea caught with a large amount of the drug. It may be up to the prosecutor to decide if your charge warrants felony or misdemeanor designation.
2. The Reason for Possession
A person who is caught possessing drugs for their own personal use is likely to face a misdemeanor. On the other hand, a person who is caught with possession with the intent to sell or distribute could see felony charges. This is because the law considers the crime of doing drugs personally less than the crime of enabling others to do drugs. If you are caught with a high enough amount of drugs, you could be charged with drug trafficking, which is the most serious of all drug charges.
3. Aggravating Circumstances
If there are aggravating circumstances, then you can expect to face more serious charges. Examples including committing a drug crime within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone (such as a school, college, arcade, playground, etc.,), possession of a firearm, gang-related activities, or using or possessing drugs in the presence of a minor.
The Potential Consequences of a Felony Drug Charge Can Be Significant
If you are convicted of a felony drug charge, not only will you face time in prison and have fines to pay, but you will lose your right to vote as long as you are incarcerated or on probation. You will lose your right to serve on a jury. You will lose your right to serve in the military and may lose veteran’s benefits you have already earned. You could face discrimination when it comes to finding housing or a job.
The best way to avoid these consequences is to work with a drug crimes attorney who can help you fight for you rights. Contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at 909-920-0908 now to request a free legal consultation.