Criminal Law

More than 30,000 arrests are made by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) every year, all these on drug-related crimes alone. Despite such, as well as the continuous surveillance and operations of law enforcement agencies to bust criminals and free the streets of drugs, trafficking, distribution, possession and use of illegal narcotics (like cocaine, heroin, marijuana and 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) otherwise known as Ecstasy) are still significant problems in the country.

Many non-violent individuals suffer years of jail term due to the very wrong thought that smuggling drugs into the US is too easy money to pass up. Obviously, they willingly take the risk of being caught and being made to face heavy penalties in exchange for the big amount of cash they will get in return.

A drug-related activity, most especially drug trafficking, is a serious federal crime with harsh mandatory sentences. For possession of drugs, for instance, most states carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 to 40 months imprisonment plus steep fines (other states also include many hours of community service, which will serve as additional penance for the crime).

For drug selling, offenders will face much harsher penalties, including three to nine years imprisonment (even longer for those found guilty of selling drugs to minors). The law firm Kohler Hart Powell, SC, explains on its website the gravity of drug-related offenses and the penalties these carry, especially the penalties for drug trafficking, which include: years of jail sentence; fine amounting to thousands of dollars; loss of right to vote until the completion of the entire felony sentence; loss of the right to carry a gun; and, loss of certain academic and professional opportunities.

Use of illegal drugs is linked to some of the leading causes of death, like homicide, sexual crimes, violence, suicide, HIV infection, hepatitis, pneumonia, mental illness and motor-vehicle injuries. It is because of these other consequences, which put the lives of so many others in danger, why law enforcement officers and the DEA fight the crime with much more intensity. Thus, rather than just charging an individual with possession, law enforcers also look for signs, such as small plastic bags, scales and large amounts of cash, which are all possible signs of intent to sell.

The penalties awaiting a person convicted of a drug crime should never be taken lightly; more so, however, are the effects of a conviction which, according to the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, can definitely ruin a person’s future even years after his/her conviction and despite having completed the terms of his/her sentence. Because whether he/she likes it or not, his/her crime and conviction will be on record accessible, especially, to potential employers.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Thus, though a person may, indeed, be caught with illegal drugs in his/her possession, he/she is very much entitled to the most competent legal defense available which can help prove that he/she may not really be guilty of a crime after all.

Read More