Top Columbia Falls, MT Drug Crime Lawyers Near You
Drug Crime Lawyers | Kalispell Office | Serving Columbia Falls, MT
1830 3rd Ave E, Suite 302, Kalispell, MT 59901
Columbia Falls Drug Crime Information
Lead Counsel independently verifies Drug Crime attorneys in Columbia Falls and checks their standing with Montana bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
- Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
- Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
- Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
- Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.
What Is Considered a Drug Crime?Drug crimes are some of the most common crimes in the United States, ranging from (unlawful) possession of a controlled substance to large-scale drug trafficking and racketeering. Drug crimes encompass any illegal actions involving controlled substances. Controlled substances include illegal narcotics like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Drug crimes can also involve selling, distributing, or possessing controlled prescription drugs like oxycodone or Vicodin.
Can I Be Arrested for Using Drugs?It is generally not a drug crime to be “high” or under the influence of drugs. However, if you still have any drugs in your possession, you may be charged with possession. You could also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia if you have something with drug residue, like a pipe. If you are high in public, you could face a ticket for public intoxication. However, if you are caught driving while impaired by drugs, you can face a drug DUI or DWI.
What Are Some Examples of Drug-Related Crimes?The most common drug crimes in the U.S. are drug possession charges. Having one or more illegal drugs in possession is against the law. Some states consider possession of small amounts of marijuana to be a petty offense or infraction. However, drug possession is still a misdemeanor criminal offense in most states. Drug possession with intent to distribute may include a suspect caught in the act of trying to sell drugs. Drug distribution could also be charged if the suspect is in possession of a larger amount of drugs or with indicators of sales, like scales, baggies, and large amounts of cash. Drug possession with intent to distribute is generally a more serious charge than simple possession. Drug trafficking and manufacturing drugs are among the most serious drug offenses. Drug trafficking is generally a felony, with penalties including years in prison. Large-scale drug operations can also involve related charges like racketeering and money laundering.
What Are the Penalties for Different Drug Crimes?The penalties for drug crimes can depend on the type of drugs, the amount of controlled substance, and whether the drugs were for personal use or for sale. Penalties can also depend on the surrounding circumstances, related charges, and the defendant’s criminal history.
What Are the Penalties for Simple Possession?Simple possession generally involves possession of a small amount of drugs, generally an amount to be considered for personal use. The maximum amount is generally based on drug laws, not based on the amount the defendant generally consumes. In most states, a simple possession case is a misdemeanor. However, a first-time offense can often result in probation instead of jail time.
What Are the Penalties for Selling Drugs or Trafficking?Those convicted of large-scale drug trafficking could see between 10 years to a life sentence if convicted. Possession with intent to distribute is generally a felony, charged at the state level, and penalties vary based on the individual facts of the case. Penalties can increase based on the type of controlled substance, amount involved, and related crimes involved.
Is Medical Marijuana Possession a Crime?The majority of states now have laws for limited medical marijuana use and possession. A large number of states and territories have also legalized recreational cannabis. However, some states still treat marijuana like other controlled substances. Under federal law, medical marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance.
Can I Get Probation for a Drug Crime in Montana?Probation is a monitored release where you still have to follow certain rules and restrictions to stay out of jail. Probation can require regularly meeting with your probation officer, drug testing, curfew, holding down a job, or other conditions. Individuals can get probation as a way to avoid jail time or as part of a plea deal. Getting probation depends on the seriousness of the crime and other factors, so you can talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about how to get probation.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Drug Crime?If you are facing drug-related criminal charges, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can give you legal advice about your rights, defense strategies, and legal options to avoid a permanent criminal record. Your drug crime lawyer can also help you get approved for a drug diversion program, drug court, or deferred judgment to keep the drug charges off your record.
What Makes a Drug Crime a Federal Crime?
Nearly any drug offense could see you end up in the federal system because these substances are all banned under federal law. If federal officers, such as those with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), are conducting operations in your area, an arrest by one of those officers would likely lead to federal charges. Using illegal drugs on federal property, such as national parks, can also lead to drug charges. While federal officials often target distributors and traffickers more than people possessing a small amount of drugs, the potential does still exist.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
The Importance of a Good Consultation
The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.
Types of legal fees:
Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.
Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.
Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.
Common legal terms explained
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.