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What kinds of drug charges are there?

There are a few kinds of drug crimes that you could be charged with, and each has its own set of rules and potential sentences. For instance, you could be charged with paraphernalia, manufacturing or possession crimes. No matter what you're charged with, you want to protect yourself against the allegations, so you can keep your criminal record clear. Even a minor drug offense can make it more difficult to find a job, housing or other needs in your life.

With drug paraphernalia crimes, you can be charged for having bongs, syringes or other kinds of pipes. While some items are designed to use legal substances inside, like tobacco in a bong, it's still possible to be charged depending on how the item looks and on where you bought it from. This could be argued in court if you can prove it was not used for drug use.

Possession of drugs is another kind of charge you could face if you're caught with drugs in your possession when the police pull you over or stop you in public. You can be charged with simple possession or with possession with the intent to distribute, which can make the difference in how you're sentenced if you're not found innocent.

With a manufacturing charge, you're accused of baking or otherwise creating the drug you're selling or distributing to others to sell for you. You can be charged with drug manufacturing if you've been part of any step in the creation of the drug. You could have simply purchased a few ingredients used to create drugs, but if you're in the home or the ingredients can be traced to you, then you could be facing a serious charge.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Drug Crimes," accessed Aug. 11, 2015

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