Drug crimes are on the rise in many areas of the country. Currently, heroin is taking over Ohio, as evidenced by the numerous news stories of people shooting up and overdosing in parking lots. Opioids, particularly the prescription kind, are seizing Wisconsin. Crack cocaine is still a drug of choice in California and New York. States are cracking down while they are simultaneously making it legal to possess marijuana. If you have been charged with a drug crime, what are the odds that your drug crime lawyer can get your charges dropped?

Dealer vs. User

Getting your charges dropped depends a lot on whether the police think you were dealing or just using. Possession of any drug is punishable, but the amount of drug you had on your person determines the difference between sentences. In most states, the standards are set for "recreational user" and "dealer," which is often the difference between a few grams and an ounce or more.

If you were just sampling a recreational street drug for the first time or buying drugs for "friends," you are not likely to have a lot on your person when you are arrested. Dealers have significantly more on their persons because they do not want to keep going back to their stash every time they run out. The lesser the charges, the lesser the punishment, and if you have no prior record of drug arrests, your lawyer may be able to get your charges dropped, or your sentence reduced.

Prior Arrests or Prior Convictions

Unfortunately, if you have prior drug arrests or prior convictions on your record, there is not much wiggle room for you. This includes not only dealers but users as well. If the police believe you are a dealer, you may have bargaining chips, but only if you know some higher-up dealers or have met with crime syndicate contacts in your daily walks.

Users rarely have these connections and are often stuck with however the chips fall. The longer your record, the less likely you can get out of trouble and the greater the penalty. (There are states where the penalties are significantly less, such as California, where you may pay as little as $300 and no jail time for a repeated offense.)

Possession of Medical Marijuana Across State Lines

There are still several states that have not made it legal to possess marijuana for medical purposes. Even if you are a card-carrying patient who uses medical marijuana, if you are caught crossing state lines into a state that does not allow it, you will face drug charges. In these cases, you may be able to reduce your charges or sentence because you would not be found guilty in your home state.

Contact a lawyer like Gonzales, Joe D for more information and assistance.