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What are some drug-related offenses and their meanings?

When people read about drug crimes, they might come across various terms that describe the charges. Many drug crimes have classifications that include the name or category of the drug. Additionally, some drug charges might have a term that describes the type of crime that the person is accused of. This can be drug dealing, drug trafficking, possession, manufacturing, delivering, or other similar terms. Our readers in Virginia might like to know about some of the differences between these types of crimes.

What is drug dealing?

In most cases, drug dealing is a term used for small scale sales of drugs. The penalties for drug dealing are often less severe than those for drug trafficking. For example, someone facing a federal charge for drug dealing up to 50 grams of marijuana faces up to five years in prison with a fine of $250,000.

What is drug trafficking?

Drug trafficking usually refers to larger drug sales operations. Drug trafficking usually involves the transport and sales of illegal drugs. In some cases, having large amounts of drugs on a person can lead to drug trafficking charges. The penalties for drug trafficking are harsh and might result in life in prison. For example, the sale of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana can mean 10 years to at least life in prison.

What is possession?

Drug possession charges are usually reserved for people who have very little drugs on their person. In most cases, the amount would have to be so small that the drugs could only be for personal use. A person might also be charged with possession with intent to distribute in some cases, which has slightly harsher penalties than a simple possession charge.

What is manufacturing or delivery?

When people are deemed to have been a part of the process of making drugs, they might face manufacturing of that drug. If they are caught delivering the drugs, they can face delivery charges. Both of these charges can lead to time in prison.

Facing any drug charge is a big deal, so those who are facing these types of charges should learn about their options. From plea deals to jury trials, it is vital for you to work with someone knowledgeable to determine how to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Drug Crimes" Jan. 07, 2015

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