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What are the various types of drug crimes?

Drug charges in Virginia are very serious and can change the course of the accused's entire life. There are various drug crimes covered by both Federal and Virginia state laws.

All drug crimes are connected with drug possession, manufacturing or distribution. Drug possession is one of the more common drug crimes.

It is illegal to possess any illegal controlled substances, such as cocaine, marijuana or heroin. If one is in possession of a small amount of these drugs, that person may be charged with simple possession.

However, a larger quantity could lead to a charge of possession with the intent to distribute. Distribution charges typically result in harsher consequences.

Drug paraphernalia refers to any equipment used to prepare or consume illegal drugs. Bongs, pipes, rolling papers and syringes are all considered paraphernalia. Importing, exporting or selling these items is illegal. Even if the item is designed for legal purposes, one can still be charged depending on where the item was purchased or how it looks.

Drug manufacturing charges can be brought against any person involved in any stage of the illegal drug production process. Prosecutors must prove intent to manufacture and possession to convict someone of drug manufacturing.

Delivery of illicit drugs is also a crime. But, growing marijuana is treated differently than other illegal drugs, due to medical and person use exceptions.

No matter what drug crime one is charged with, it may be possible for those accused to defend themselves against the charges. The accused's reputation and freedom is at stake, so it may be beneficial to collect as much information as possible about their case and work with a legal professional to come up with a solid defense strategy.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Types of Drug Crimes," accessed on April 25, 2016

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