There are a variety of negative consequences that an individual can face if they choose to use or sell drugs. Criminal charges related to drugs can be misdemeanors or felonies. Do not make the mistake of thinking that misdemeanor drug charges are unimportant. Convictions and guilty pleas could remain on criminal records indefinitely, which means that it is possible for misdemeanors to negatively impact an individual's life indefinitely. Some career options might not be available to individuals with criminal histories. The following points identify a few drug-related charges.
Under the Influence
Some individuals assume that they cannot be charged with drug-related crimes as long as they do not have any drugs in their possession. They may feel at liberty to use as many drugs as they choose. Drugs are mind-altering and can drastically change an individual's personality, cause blackouts, and negatively impact the safety of self and others. A common charge is when drivers use drugs and drive under the influence. However, other situations, such as being involved in a brawl or allegedly committing other criminal acts, can lead to the additional charge of being under the influence of drugs.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
It is also possible to not have any drugs at the time of a search but have drug paraphernalia. The paraphernalia does not have to contain traces of drugs, but if it does, it might be confiscated to be used as evidence. A criminal lawyer has the skillset to review cases and determine if conducted searches were legal. Illegal searches can result in judges dismissing evidence obtained. Examples of paraphernalia are scales, pipes, syringes, vials, needles, small plastic bags, mirrors, and razors.
Simple Possession of Drugs
This is a drug possession charge that can stem from being in possession of drugs that belong to someone else. It is the state's burden to prove that a defendant is guilty. Sometimes they lack the evidence to pursue the more serious felony charge of possession of drugs with intent to sell. An individual might get this charge while driving a vehicle that does not belong to them and has drugs in it. Another scenario would be storing personal items for a friend and not knowing that drugs are being stored. The key point is that the individual charged has drugs in their possession.
Criminal law services can be used as a resource to learn more about drug charges and potential ramifications. There are a number of factors that can determine whether an individual will face incarceration and other legal consequences. Retaining a lawyer could be helpful to negotiate a plea bargain. Lawyers might also be able to negotiate terms that allow records related to the case including a guilty plea to be sealed after conditions are met.