Billings, MT Drug Crime Defense Lawyers
In Billings, the possession of restricted or dangerous drugs is governed by state and federal law. The differences in penalties for a conviction can be significant. Additionally, the potential penalties and fines that apply to the production of controlled substances will be different than for other offenses, like the sale of controlled dangerous substances or simply possessing them.
Whether you are accused of simple marijuana possession or prescription medicine fraud, you need effective legal representation. Do not try to defend drug charges on your own if you have been detained for a drug-related offense or know that you are the subject of an investigation. The lawyers at The Criminal Defense Firm have extensive experience in advocating for clients in both state and federal courts.
Drug and Marijuana Possession in Billings, Montana
In Montana, it is possible to be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor for possessing a controlled substance. You may face criminal charges in many situations, even if only a trace amount of drugs are discovered in your possession, such as what’s left in a pipe or a bag.
In Montana, it is still unlawful to have more than an ounce of cannabis, and it is still punishable by lengthy prison terms to have other restricted narcotics such as methamphetamine, cocaine, opiates, heroin, fentanyl, or Ritalin/Adderall. While recreational marijuana and cannabis are now legal to possess in Montana and neighboring states, it is crucial to remember that federal law still forbids the transfer of cannabis across state lines.
Additionally, it is illegal to operate a vehicle in Montana under the influence of marijuana (DUI). If a blood test reveals that you have more than five ng/L of THC in your system, the court will presume that you are impaired or under the influence of drugs while operating a motor vehicle.
Retaining a criminal defense or DUI attorney is essential if you want to defend your rights after being accused of drug possession, driving while intoxicated by a drug, or driving while under the influence of THC.
Drug Crimes in Billings, Montana
Here are a few drug-related offenses in Billings, Montana:
- Possession of dangerous drugs with an intent to distribute them
- Illegal possession of dangerous drugs
- Illegal production or manufacture of harmful substances
- Criminal possession of drug paraphernalia
- Manufacturing or distributing drug paraphernalia
- Running an illegal clandestine lab
- Trafficking in drugs
- Procuring hazardous substances through fraud
Depending on the type of the drug and how much of it was found, these offenses can be relatively minor or carry multiple decades in state or federal prison.
A Wide Variety of Controlled Substances
Schedule I through Schedule V refer to the five drug Schedules. Narcotics listed as Schedule I are highly addictive street drugs with no known medicinal applications. On the other hand, Schedule V pharmaceuticals are prescribed medicines with a low risk of addiction.
Federal laws forbid the unauthorized distribution of substances on Schedules I through V. The Schedules mentioned in the Controlled Substances Act are generally adopted by state statutes, though alterations can be made by state legislatures.
The illicit distribution of pharmaceuticals under Schedules I through V is pursued by both federal and state authorities. Authorized pharmacies may lawfully sell buy and sell controlled narcotics, including prescription medications, to those with legitimate prescriptions.
Common illegal substances include:
- Synthetic marijuana (also known as spice or K2),
- Prescription painkillers like Morphine,
- ADHD medicine,
- Psychotropic meds,
- Muscle relaxants, and
- Sleeping pills.
Montana’s Club Drugs
In Montana, narcotics like Ecstasy, Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are among those that are referred to as “club drugs.” Teenagers and other residents of Montana typically use these drugs while going to nightclubs, pubs, or raves. Ravers are typically drawn to these club drugs because of their low cost, apparently increased stamina and intoxicating highs.
The use of most of these drugs can produce a fast rise in body temperature, which can cause muscle breakdown and kidney or cardiovascular system failure. Science has shown that these drugs can alter crucial regions of the brain.
Among Montana’s “club drugs” are the following:
- Ecstasy is a synthetic psychoactive drug with stimulant and hallucinogenic effects
- Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine are club drugs that primarily depress the central nervous system
- Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine are frequently colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it possible for people to consume them when added to liquids accidentally or by someone else
- Due to its euphoric, sedative, and anabolic effects, GHB has been abused in the United States
- Due to its abuse in date rape, Rohypnol has received considerable attention in recent years
- Rohypnol, when combined with alcohol, can make it difficult for victims to fight off sexual assault
- Ketamine has grown popular in club scenes and raves due to its capacity to induce dream-like states and hallucinations
Drug Distribution: A Serious Offense in Billings
Drug distribution is a more severe crime than drug possession and is almost always a felony. When someone is accused of drug distribution, law enforcement assumes that they had the drugs with the intention of selling them. When someone has substantial quantities of the substance in their possession, they are frequently prosecuted with drug distribution rather than mere possession. They might also be in possession of additional items or tools that would help them sell or distribute the drugs or indicate that there was an intent to sell, like guns or lots of cash.
Although regulations can change, giving a controlled substance to another person generally constitutes the distribution of that substance. The transfer could be attempted, constructive, or real. Prosecution may also use circumstantial evidence, like behavior or the amount of drugs in a person’s possession, to show that they intend to sell or distribute illegal substances.
For instance, if numerous medicines are packaged in small amounts, it may indicate that the drugs are being sold rather than used for personal consumption. Therefore, even without proof of actual distribution, intent to distribute may be assumed.
Drug distribution and its related offenses of drug trafficking and illegal drug importation are all grave offenses. The amount of narcotics distributed, the location where they were distributed, and other considerations, such as whether or not children or dangerous weapons were involved, all affect the potential penalties for a conviction.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Offenses in Billings, Montana, and The Criminal Defense Firm
What is the Most Common Way to Get Arrested for a Drug Offense?
Traffic stops are likely the most common even to result in a drug-related arrest. The police stop drivers for common traffic offenses and then request permission to search the vehicle. This is a consent search and you do not have to provide permission. The cops will make an arrest after finding substances like marijuana or methamphetamine in the vehicle. A skilled private investigator who will look into the facts of your case works closely with our attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm.
How Much of the Substance Must be Present for a Drug Distribution Charge?
It will depend on the type of the substance, as different controlled substances have different threshold amounts for a possession with intent to sell charge. Depending on the quantity and type of substance involved, authorities may choose to file charges for either simple possession or possession with intent to sell or distribute.
For instance, a person might be charged with drug possession if they have three grams of marijuana. On the other hand, if you have 25 pounds or more of marijuana, you could be charged with drug distribution.
In contrast, a charge of drug distribution can be brought against you for a much smaller amount of certain other drugs. For instance, a person could be charged with drug trafficking even if they only have a few ounces of cocaine or heroin.
What are the Penalties for Drug Distribution?
Drug distribution is a felony. Depending on the drug’s type and quantity, different people face different punishments for drug distribution. For instance, the illegal distribution of drugs listed on Schedule I is punished more severely than those listed on Schedule V. Additionally, the severity of the punishment will increase with the quantity of narcotics being held for distribution.
If certain aggravating circumstances existed, the punishment could be increased. This includes prior drug arrests; drug sales to minors or on school property; distribution while carrying a weapon; the presence of children; and the narcotic being disseminated.
The civil forfeiture of assets is a common component of drug distribution cases. Assets connected to the distribution offense may be permanently seized in a civil forfeiture by the federal agency, the state, or the municipality in charge of the prosecution. Financial gains from the drug distribution, including the sale of grow houses or vehicles used to carry the drugs, are examples of assets that may be seized or destroyed.
Why Don't You Call Yourself the Best Drug Defense Firm in Montana?
Because we prefer to let our prior clients say those sorts of things in the testimonials that they leave after we have helped them in their case.
The Criminal Defense Law Firm: Drug Defense in Billings, Montana
If you have been accused of committing a drug crime in Billings, Montana, you need effective legal representation. Call The Criminal Defense Firm at (866) 603-4540 or contact our firm online for legal help.