Being caught with an illegal drug in your vehicle or on your person is never something you want to happen. When you are caught and arrested, some of the charges you face may be filled with more legal jargon than with which you are familiar. While ignorance of the law is no excuse or defense, your drug charge lawyer can inform you what the possible charges are against you and what each of them means for a possible sentence.
Possession (of Small Amounts)
If you have less than a couple of grams, or even less than a gram and you do not carry a pharmaceuticals license or medical substance card, you may be charged with possession. Possession is the most frequently used charge when police discover small amounts of a controlled substance (a.k.a., drug) on or near your person. Even if you do not have enough to sell illegally, you could also be charged with "possession with intent to sell." Sentencing varies widely from state to state and a single occurrence to several occurrences, but usually there is a fine and possibly some jail time.
If you have a meth lab in your garage or a marijuana plant in your closet under a black light, this is more than just possession. This is manufacturing or growing a drug either to sell or to use the drug personally. If you are caught, it means a much harsher fine and possibly a short prison stay (rather than jail in the local police department or county jail). It is possible to barter your way out of this charge, if you and your lawyer have some valuable information to trade with the district attorney and/or local law enforcement.
Distributing and Trafficking
If you volunteer just once to be someone's "drug mule" because you are desperate for cash, you can still be busted for distributing and trafficking. Most people when they think of this type of charge think of drug dealers, but it is much more than that. Crossing the border from Mexico back into the U.S. only to find out that somebody hid a lot of cocaine or marijuana in your wheel wells means you could be looking at felony charges. (You would not leave your luggage unattended in an airport, so why would you leave your car unattended in Mexico, which has the highest rate of drug trafficking by vehicle into the U.S.?) However, your criminal offense and drug charge lawyer may be able to plead you down by asking for mercy, leniency and or your required attendance in a drug rehab program for convicted felons. (Otherwise, you are looking at some hard prison time.)
To learn more, contact a drug charge lawyer like Pollack & Ball LLC.