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Taking a closer look at some common drug charges

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote a post about drug paraphernalia and a curious case where a sock was being considered as such paraphernalia. With that post in mind, let's take a closer look at all the different types of common drug charges that you have likely heard about, and what these charges mean legally.

Let's start with the charge that post was centered on: drug paraphernalia. This charge usually relates to bongs, pipes, syringes, and other items that are commonly associated with drug use (specifically the injection or consumption of drugs). It's actually a more complicated charge than it may seem, because certain paraphernalia items have specific uses and just their look or appearance may draw a paraphernalia charge -- even though to the individual, it may not seem that way.

Drug possession is a very common drug offense, and it's a little more difficult to define simply because every state has it's own way of dealing with this criminal offense. But, in general, possessing illegal drugs is illegal on both the state and federal level. Some states are changing their laws in relation to certain drugs (such as marijuana), but these are a select few.

Manufacturing drugs is also a common charge, and this can be applied to anyone who had a hand in the manufacturing process of drugs. When it comes to transporting, delivering or "dealing" these drugs, things become a bit more complicated.

"Drug dealing" is seen as a relatively minor form of drug distribution -- as in street deals on a small scale. Drug trafficking is seen as "drug dealing" on a far greater scale, and as a result, the consequences for drug trafficking are far more severe.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Drug Crimes," Accessed June 18, 2015

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