Drug offenses are a high priority of law enforcement and prosecutors. Although there is a developing recognition of bias in the prosecution of these offenses and a greater understanding of how addiction and drug crimes intersect, drug offenses remain serious crimes with potentially devastating consequences.
If you were charged with any drug crime, from possession of marijuana to methamphetamine trafficking, you need an aggressive attorney representing your interests. Call a St. Louis Park drug lawyer as soon as you are arrested or learn that you are under investigation for a drug crime.
The Identity and Quantity of Drug Determines Charges
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes drugs based on their potential for abuse and their medical uses. Schedule 1 drugs have the highest potential for abuse combined with the lowest medical value, according to the DEA. Schedule 5 drugs have the highest medical value combined with the lowest potential for abuse.
Marijuana, heroin, and ecstasy are all Schedule 1 drugs. Schedule 2 drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, and oxycodone. Ketamine, anabolic steroids, and Tylenol with codeine are all listed on Schedule 3. Common pharmaceuticals like Ambien, Xanax, and Darvocet are on Schedule 4. Finally, Schedule 5 lists Lomotil, Lyrica, and Robitussin AC, among others.
In general, the law punishes the possession and sale of Schedule 1 and 2 drugs most harshly, although pursuant to Minnesota Revised Statutes §152.125(1), prosecutors rarely pursue charges against possessors of small quantities of marijuana. Possession or sale of large quantities of a Schedule 1 or 2 drug could lead to a decades-long prison sentence. Anyone accused of a drug crime should speak with a defense attorney about the specifics of the penalties they could face.
Aggressive Advocacy Could Make a Big Difference in Drug Cases
People accused of drug crimes often face over-zealous police and prosecutors. A capable legal representative could ensure that the accused person’s rights are respected and protect the client from abuse, intimidation, or other unfair treatment.
An accused person’s legal representative could challenge law enforcement’s methods of gathering and handling the evidence. If intent is an element of the crime, as it is when the charge relates to the sale or distribution of a drug, an attorney could question the prosecutor’s assumptions about the accused’s intent. Depending on the circumstances, mistaken identity or other defenses could be effective in a specific case. When faced with these challenges, prosecutors might reduce charges or decide not to prosecute at all.
Drug Treatment Court Could Be an Option
Drug addiction can lead many otherwise law-abiding people to be charged with drug-related crimes. A St. Louis Park criminal attorney might advise a non-violent first offender suffering from addiction to consider participating in Hennepin County Treatment Court.
Drug treatment court is not an easy way out. Participants must engage with addiction treatment, meet with social workers and counselors, are subject to frequent random drug and alcohol screens, and must appear regularly before a judge. A seasoned attorney could help a defendant determine whether drug court is the right choice for them to move forward with their life.
Fight Your Charges with a St. Louis Park Drug Attorney
Drug convictions carry a stigma that could follow you forever and interfere with your future attempts to get credit, find housing, and secure employment. Doing everything possible to avoid those consequences is the work of a St. Louis Park drug lawyer.
You deserve the most tenacious defense possible under the circumstances. Call our office today to get started.