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Top East Helena, MT Drug Crime Lawyers Near You

Drug Crime Lawyers | Helena Office | Serving East Helena, MT

211 5th Ave, Helena, MT 59601

East Helena Drug Crime Information

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Lead Counsel independently verifies Drug Crime attorneys in East Helena and checks their standing with Montana bar associations.

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  • Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
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Find a Drug Crime Attorney near East Helena

Visit our free Drug Crime Resource Center.

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.

What sort of issues can I seek legal help with?

Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

How to Find the Right Attorney

  • Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
  • Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
  • Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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