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Posted 04/26/2022 by Brian Tremel

Drug Charges Facts: How Some Drug Courts Rehabilitate Drug Offenders

Drug Charges Facts: How Some Drug Courts Rehabilitate Drug Offenders

People who are convicted of drug charges know that they are facing a whole range of penalties and sentences, which can be different in every state. The penalties can vary from simple charges which have a fine of $100 with a few days in jail to thousands of dollars with several years of jail time in the state prison.

Sentences for simple drug charges are the lightest in terms of penalties. Charges involving the distribution of drugs or manufacturing of illegal substances carry a harsher penalty. There are times when the prosecutor will offer a plea deal to the defendant who might be able to aid them in a higher-priority case or investigation. If a defendant can help the prosecution in the arrest of an organized crime leader, a plea deal can be offered to the defense.

Getting Legal Help

Penalties for drug possession may vary depending on the jurisdiction and factors in the case. Defendants are encouraged to work with a reliable drug defense attorney to help the case have a better chance of getting dropped or receiving a lenient sentence.

State vs Federal Drug Charges and Penalties

Federal lawmakers enacted mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines that govern drug offenses in 1986. The enactment was an attempt by the lawmakers to allow the law enforcers to target high-level distributors and crime ring leaders, although the case on the big crime leaders can impact the lower-level drug defendants.

Most states have similar approaches when it comes to drug sentencing. The fixed types of sentences are dependent on the weight of the drug, the type of the drug, and the number of the defendant’s prior convictions. An example is the state of Kentucky which adopted a similar mandatory minimum sentencing yet it is one of the states with the toughest provisions on drug possession charges. A simple possession charge in Kentucky would lead first-time offenders to be sentenced to two to 10 years in prison with a fine that reaches up to $20,000. On the other hand, California has some of the most lenient sentences for drug possession sentences with a jail time of 15 to 180 days and a fine from $30 to $500.

Specialized Drug Courts

Multiple states instituted drug courts that have programs focused on felony drug defendants which are overseen by the judge. The aim is to rehabilitate the defendant and the repeat offenders instead of filing charges to take them to a court trial. Judges have substantial control over the operations of the drug courts. If a defendant agrees to go to a drug court would sign up for 12 to 15 months of treatment sessions and random drug tests. The defendant would often appear before the drug court judge regularly. Defendants who have agreed to the “drug court procedures” but failed to appear in court or tested positive for drugs during the process would be arrested and given a short jail time.

Other Variables That Can Influence Drug Possession Penalties

Aside from the mandated minimum sentences, other variables influence the penalties and sentence of a defendant. When the court is preparing the sentence, the judge would look at certain mitigating or aggravating factors such as the defendant’s records, including the type of drug in which the case revolves around.

Many states would double the sentence for convictions if the incident happened near a school. It is considered an aggravating factor in the case. The conviction can be lessened if the person is helping an abusive partner with the drug trade operation. The defendant might be given a lesser charge with the abuse presenting a mitigating factor in court.

State Drug Possession Laws

The federal government has a wide power in enforcing drug laws but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is focused on larger operations and interstate drug trafficking. Drug possession charges are often and largely worked on by the states with their sentencing guidelines.

Benari Law Group has decades of hands-on experience and a multipronged approach to using proven defense methods and tactics to help defendants. Benari Law Group is dedicated to upholding the 6th amendment and providing the defendant to have the right to competent counsel. At Benari Law Group, excellence is our only standard. We, Benari Law Group firm give personalized attention to our clients. You’ll also have direct access to your attorney.  You can contact Benari Law Group at 610-566-1006 or visit them at 142 Market St, West Chester, PA 19382.

Posted By

Brian Tremel

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