The most effective drug offense attorneys can clearly distinguish the varying levels that define the relationship between drugs and criminal offenses. Generally, there are three types of drug-crime relationships. While they can overlap depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime, there are a few distinctions which an attorney may be able to build upon to help an accused individual’s defense.
Drug-defined offenses are the most common type of drug crime. These are characterized by a violation of laws prohibiting or regulating the possession, use, distribution, cultivation or manufacture of illegal substances. Drug-related offenses, on the other hand, are crimes that are either motivated by the drug’s pharmacologic effects or by the need to support its continued use. Examples of this type of offense include vehicular injury or manslaughter due to impairing drug effects and stealing to get money to buy drugs. Violence between rival gangs known to traffic illegal substances can also be considered a drug-related crime.
A drug-using lifestyle increases the likelihood and frequency of getting involved in illegal activities, especially violent crime. However, while the degree of exposure to illegal or controlled drugs may affect the gravity of an offense, it does not mean that every individual involved with drugs deserve the lasting repercussions that a conviction would bring. It is a drug offense attorney’s job to protect the individual rights of people accused of committing both drug-defined and drug-related offenses. Utilizing a comprehensive knowledge of the law and available resources, criminal lawyers can ensure their clients are met with a fair and just trial.