There are five categories of controlled substances in the United States. Also known as schedules, these categories organize drugs based on their abuse potential and accepted uses. Both federal and state laws govern the manufacture, distribution, and use of controlled substances. Violating such laws can result in severe penalties. Here, seasoned criminal defense lawyer Mike Hamilton from the Law Office of Mike Hamilton in Columbia, MO, explains the different kinds of drug crimes.
At the State Level
Marijuana laws are a good example of how drug laws differ by state. As of 2018, the use of recreational marijuana is legal in nine states, and the use of medicinal marijuana is legal in 30 states. Missouri does not fall into either category, though, which means residents can face serious penalties if they are caught with marijuana. One edible from Colorado can be charged as a felony!
Charges for the manufacture, sale, or possession of any controlled substance are common at the state level. The penalties for a conviction vary in severity and depend on a variety of factors, including the substance in question and the amount seized. Consequences might include a short jail term (less than one year), a fine, or probation.
At the Federal Level
The federal government usually steps in when suspects are involved in drug trafficking. Because trafficking contributes to widespread drug abuse, the penalties for doing so tend to be far harsher than those for possession.
Whereas trafficking is typically a felony, possession may be a misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Penalties for trafficking often include a prison sentence of at least a few years. Since so much is at stake, those who are facing federal drug charges should seek counsel from a criminal defense attorney immediately.
If you have been charged with violating state or municipal drug laws, turn to the Law Office of Mike Hamilton in Columbia, MO. Mike Hamilton is a strategic criminal defense lawyer who has extensive trial experience. For nearly two decades, he served as the District Public Defender in Fulton. He has ten more years in private practice which involved many drug cases.
Today, his areas of expertise include drug possession and trafficking, minor in possession, fake id and driving while intoxicated. Call (573) 825-5698 or visit his website to reach out and schedule an initial consultation with Mike.
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