Even though the perception of drug crimes and the “War on Drugs” is changing around the United States, it takes time for that change to really manifest itself. Drug crimes are still taken very seriously by the criminal justice system, and that often means that people suffer penalties and jail sentences that are unduly harsh and excessive, given their offense.

There are many different types of drug crimes that prosecutors can throw at someone accused of committing a crime — and in most cases, they will do anything to make the charges stick, even if the premise is a bit flimsy or “technical.” This is just one of the many reasons that anyone accused of a drug crime needs to get legal representation as soon as possible.

Paraphernalia and possession charges are very common when it comes to drug crimes. These relate to bongs, syringes and other tools and utensils for using drugs (for the former) and the literal possession of drugs (for the latter). With possession charges, the more you have the more likely you are to get a “possession with intent to sell” charge. These are obviously more serious charges than simple possession charges.

Speaking of “intent to distribute,” there are a few charges that relate to this matter: delivery, trafficking and “dealing.” Trafficking usually relates to large-scale drug operations, whereas “dealing” is on a smaller scale. Delivery is the act of giving drugs to another person, and the definition for this charge, as well as the others, may fluctuate slightly from state to state.

The punishment and consequences associated with these offenses are often very harsh, so defend yourself immediately when charged with these crimes.