Since former President Nixon's declaration of war on drugs, law enforcement offices across the country have made combating illegal and illicit drug use one of their top priorities. People who are found guilty of a drug offense can expect to meet some of the harshest civil and criminal penalties meted out by the courts.

However, it is fair to note that the legal system makes changes to drug offense laws and punishments all the time. When you find yourself accused of this violation, it is important that you hire a trained drug offense attorney who knows the current drug laws and can defend you against criminal charges.

Examples of Drug Offenses

Drug offenses vary and carry with them a wide range of penalties. Some of the more common examples of this crime include:

  • Possession of narcotics like cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana
  • Distributing and trafficking drugs
  • Manufacturing
  • Driving under the influence of narcotics
  • Selling or sharing prescription drugs

Depending on the type of drug and the amount, the charges against you can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Each state has its own definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor violation of the drug laws and what amount counts as a felony. Most courts hand out different punishments for misdemeanors than they do felony drug convictions.

If you are found guilty on a misdemeanor drug offense charge, your punishment may include:

  • Monetary fines
  • Community service or probation
  • Mandatory drug rehabilitation
  • Up to six months in jail

Jail time most often is given to people who are repeat offenders. In contrast, felony drug offenses meet with harsher punishments and can include paying much more expensive monetary fines and spending time in a state or federal prison. After you are released from prison, you may have to register as a drug offender in your state. This label can make it more difficult to find productive employment and rebuild your life.

Defending Yourself in Court

You should never appear in court and try to defend yourself against drug charges without a lawyer to help you. An attorney who practices in this area of law will have resources and knowledge that will prove invaluable to your particular case.

For example, if you were charged after sharing a prescription painkiller with a friend, your lawyer can ensure that the court takes into consideration facts that make your case stand apart from repeat hardened drug offenders. Your legal team will make sure that the punishment for your case fits the offense for which you are charged.

Likewise, if you want to plead not guilty, your attorney can help gather evidence and testimonies that will back up your proclaimed innocence. While people have the right to defend themselves in court, they often are not capable of convincing a judge and jury to listen to the facts of their cases. With a lawyer on retainer, you will have the confident, assertive, and skilled representation that you need to fight the charges against you thoroughly.

Drug offenses are viewed with all due seriousness in court. You can defend yourself and plead a solid case when you retain a lawyer who knows the drug laws in your state. With an attorney to help you, you may escape unfair prosecution and punishment.

Criminal Defense Attorney Ronald J. YengichRonald J. Yengich

Criminal Defense and occasional political trials. Mr. Yengich represented a former Salt Lake County Treasurer, Art Monsoon; a Salt Lake County Commissioner; a Salt Lake City Mayor; a Congressman of the United States of America; Anti-Shah protestors during the Carter administration; numerous judges, prosecutors, police officers and an occasional innocent citizen.

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