Since there are many different categories of drug crimes, it can be difficult at first to know what you will be charged with and the severities of punishment that will come along with your sentence. These questions will help you narrow down the possibilities that apply to you.
Were You Caught with Paraphernalia?
The first thing to consider is what types of evidence the police officer found when they arrested you for a drug crime. If they simply found drug paraphernalia, you may be in luck. A charge for drug paraphernalia is one of the smaller forms of drug crime, especially if there were no actual drugs found along with the gear. In some cases, you and your criminal lawyer can argue that the drug paraphernalia wasn't intended to be used for any illegal activities. For instance, you might say that a pipe was going to be used to smoke tobacco. Of course, the judge's ruling will depend on a few things; they may look at where you bought the pipe and if you have any prior history of drug arrests.
Was There an Illegal Substance in Your Possession?
If there were actual drugs found in your possession, then the lightest sentence to hope for would be a possession of illegal drugs charge. In order to get this sentence, you will likely need to have a clean record of past drug arrests and you will need to show that you only possessed a small amount of the illegal substance.
How Much Substance Did You Have?
At this point, it may be up to your lawyer's advice on what charges you argue for. If you had a large amount of drug substance, then you might be looking at a charge for drug dealing. This would be a smaller crime compared to drug trafficking, which relates to the large scale distribution of drugs. The courts may also examine your property to see if you had any raw ingredients for the manufacture of drugs, in which case a drug manufacturing charge is possible.
Although you may now have a general idea of the potential areas where your sentencing could go, note that nothing is set in stone. It takes the help of a great felony defense attorney to ensure that you are given the lightest possible sentencing in any scenario. Your lawyer should have experience dealing specifically with drug crimes in your state so that they know what types of evidence to bring to the trial and the best outcomes to seek for your case.