Drug charges are unquestionably serious charges for anyone facing them. Drug charges can include drug possession charges, intent to distribute charges, drug trafficking charges or other drug-related charges and can carry significant penalties and consequences. Potential penalties for drug charges, depending on the drug crime charged and the circumstances, can include time in prison, steep fines and other negative consequences.

It is illegal to possess any amount of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or ecstasy. It is also illegal to possess any amount of an unlawfully obtained prescription narcotic such as OxyContin, Percocet or Vicodin. In addition, it is illegal to possess an ounce or more of marijuana. Possessing any of the named illegal substances may result in drug charges. In certain circumstances, an individual may be charged with intent to distribute and additional drug charges.

It is important to understand that police must follow proper procedures to protect individuals accused of crimes. If they do not, their failure to protect the rights of individuals accused of crimes may form the basis for a criminal defense to the charges the accused individual is facing. A strong criminal defense will take account of the situation, from any search that was conducted to the arrest, and incorporate even the evidence used against the accused individual. If authorities have violated procedures designed to protect the accused individual, those violations may be used as part of a criminal defense to the charges.

Penalties for drug charges can be harsh, which is why it is important to take accusations and allegation of drug crimes seriously. A strong criminal defense response may be able to help reduce charges, eliminate charges or open doors to alternatives such as a drug diversion program.