The way that drug crimes are punished varies significantly from case to case. Sometimes, those charged with drug crimes are treated with sympathy. In these instances, defendants are encouraged to participate in treatment programs to address the underlying issue of drug dependency. Other times, however, prosecutors and judges are more focused on meting out greater punishments to deter similarly situated people from violating the law. How you are treated may depend on whether you have an experienced Morristown drug lawyer defending you.
Drug Possession Penalties
With the exception of possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of even a small amount of almost all controlled dangerous substances is no less than a third-degree crime that is punishable by a term of incarceration of three to five years. Not only are drugs like heroin and cocaine considered controlled dangerous substances, but the possession of prescription medication without a valid prescription can result in a charge that is identical to that which is received for possessing one of the better known illegal substances.
In addition to confinement, those who are convicted of drug crimes face substantial fines of up to $25,000 and a loss of driving privileges of between six months and two years.
Sometimes, particularly when a person is believed to have only possessed a small amount of drugs for personal use, an experienced drug attorney can successfully argue that treatment should be prioritized over punishment. Participation in a treatment program as a condition of probation may be a possibility in such instances instead of imprisonment.
For some people, Drug Court may represent the last best chance at avoiding a jail sentence. Drug Court can provide an alternative to incarceration for those who have struggled with substance abuse. Participants in Drug Court gain access to treatment, submit to routine drug screens, and appear in court on a regular basis to monitor their progress. Successful completion of Drug Court can not only be a way to avoid a jail sentence; it can provide a new lease on life, as graduates of Drug Court are frequently able to expunge their entire criminal records.
Distribution and Manufacturing
If you are accused of manufacturing drugs in Morristown or possessing them for the purpose of distributing them, the penalties that you are facing will be significantly more severe than if you were believed to simply have drugs for personal use. Manufacturing drugs or possessing them with the intent to distribute them to others may be a first- or second-degree crime depending upon the particular circumstances. And being charged with a second-degree crime as opposed to a third-degree crime can be the difference between facing a charge that carries a presumption of imprisonment or one that is far less likely to result in a term of incarceration.
Facing Drug Charges? Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you have been charged with a drug crime, call an experienced Morristown drug lawyer at The Gorman Law Firm to discuss your case and to plan a strategy for avoiding the serious penalties that can result from a drug crime conviction. Call us now at (201) 489-9199, or contact us online to speak with one of our attorneys.