Getting charged with a drug crime can leave you with major consequences; however, the punishment you receive will depend on several key factors. If you are currently awaiting a trial for a drug crime, you may wonder what factors will be used to determine your punishment if you are found guilty. Here are the main ones to understand.
First offense vs. repeat offense
The first thing to understand is that the court may offer leniency to you if this is your first drug offense, and they may be even more lenient if this is your first offense of any kind. On the other hand, you can expect a harsher punishment if you have other drug crimes in your past.
For first-time offenders, courts often offer diversion programs as the punishment for the crimes. A diversion program allows the person to get out of the crime charge by completing certain duties within a certain amount of time. For a drug charge, this will often involve attending drug classes or rehab. It may also include completing community service. If you complete the requirements within the time frame given, the charges may be dropped.
Type of charge
The second thing to consider is the type of charge that is against you. Of all the drug charges you can have, the least severe type is a basic drug possession charge. Other types of drug charges include intent to sell drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, and manufacturing drugs. These drug charges are more serious than basic drug possession charges, and your drug offense lawyer might try to convince the court to reduce the charges from a more severe one to a lighter one. This is one strategy used in many cases that involves drug charges.
Type and amount of the drug
The third important factor that can play a role in your punishment involves the type and amount of the drug you were found with. Possession of certain drugs, such are marijuana, might be viewed less harshly than other drugs, such as methamphetamine. In addition, if you had just enough for one dose of the drug for yourself, you might get a lighter punishment than if you had several pounds of the drug on you.
Being faced with a drug crime can be a scary situation, and you should not try to handle this alone. Instead, consult a drug offense attorney, such as those at The Law Offices of Justin Rickman, to help you through your case.