Tulsa, Oklahoma Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
Former U.S. Attorney
Drug charges can be filed on either the state or the federal level in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both are serious. Convictions carry lengthy prison sentences and huge fines, as well as long terms of strict probation and other collateral consequences of a conviction.
Having an effective legal defense team on your side to challenge these serious allegations of criminal conduct makes a huge difference in the outcome of your case. The Criminal Defense Firm legally represents defendants in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who have been accused of committing a drug crime in the area. Our experienced attorneys have a long track record of securing favorable outcomes, including case dismissals and jury acquittals, in a wide variety of state and federal drug cases.
The Wide Variety of Drug Offenses in Tulsa
Thanks in large part to the “War on Drugs” in the latter half of the 20th century, legislation abounds when it comes to regulating drugs. Many substances are illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act and the many state laws that mirror it, including Oklahoma’s drug laws. These statutes heavily regulate drug:
As a result, there are numerous different types of drug offenses that you can be accused of committing in Tulsa, like:
- Drug possession
- Drug possession with the intent to distribute
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug trafficking, including internet drug trafficking
- Healthcare fraud involving prescription drugs
- Illegal drug importation
- Prescription drug crimes
Each of these offenses can involve different types of drugs. Some prohibited substances are more heavily regulated than others because they are more harmful and have fewer medicinal purposes. Federal law puts these substances into “schedules” based on their:
- Accepted medical use in the U.S.,
- Potential for abuse, and
- Likelihood of causing addiction once they are used.
Federal law recognizes five of these drug schedules, listing them at 21 C.F.R. §§ 1308.11 through 1308.15. Most state drug laws, including Oklahoma’s, have drug schedules that mirror this federal one or that explicitly follow it. Some examples of the drugs on these schedules are:
Schedule I controlled substances, which are the most likely to be abused and that have no medically recognized use in the U.S., including:
Schedule II controlled substances, which have a high potential for abuse but also certain legitimate uses, like:
Schedule III controlled substances, which have less potential for abuse and addiction, including:
- Small amounts of codeine
- Anabolic steroids
Schedule IV controlled substances, which have an even lower potential for abuse and, as their brand name implies, widespread medicinal use, like:
Schedule V controlled substances, which have the lowest risk for abuse and dependence, and are often diluted versions of more controlled substances:
- Cough syrups with small amounts of codeine, like Robitussin
Contrary to public opinion, and as you may infer from the numerous prescription drugs on the controlled substances list, many of the defendants in drug cases are not international drug cartels or sidewalk drug dealers. Instead, lots of people who get accused of a drug crime in Tulsa are healthcare professionals, including:
- Therapists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals
Regardless of your occupation, you need staunch legal defense if you have been accused of a drug crime in Tulsa.
A Huge Spectrum of Penalties for a Conviction
Unfortunately, the severity of these drug offenses varies extremely widely. Some of the most important factors that determine the severity of the offense and the potential penalties include:
- The nature of the offense charged
- The type of controlled substance at issue
- The amount of the substance
- The presence of any aggravating factors
- Your criminal background
The least severe offenses are misdemeanors that rarely lead to jail time – just a probationary period. The most severe offenses are felonies that carry the potential for lifetime in prison without the possibility of parole.
Nature of the Offense
Obviously, the nature of the offense is a significant factor in the potential penalties. Drug possession is a less severe offense than possessing with an intent to sell or distribute, drug manufacturing, or drug trafficking.
On its own, the specific charge that has been filed against you can determine whether you are facing a minor offense or a serious charge that carries a mandatory minimum of multiple years in prison.
Type of Substance
The type of controlled substance at issue will alter the severity of otherwise identical charges. Illegally possessing or manufacturing methamphetamine is likely going to lead to harsher consequences than if the substance was marijuana. Additionally, the nature of the substance can also trigger additional penalties, like the requirement to register as an Oklahoma meth offender.
Amount of Substance
Another factor will be how much was found. Charges for trafficking pounds of cocaine are more serious than trafficking mere ounces.
Additionally, the amount of the substance at issue can change the nature of the offense. If you had trace amounts of LSD you will probably get charged with drug possession, but if you had more than necessary for your personal use it creates the inference that you possessed with the intent to sell and will likely be charged accordingly.
There are also some factors that can increase the potential penalties or even lead to additional criminal charges. For example, if illegal guns were found you may be facing additional firearm charges, while if you had drugs on your person and you were in a school zone the penalties may be enhanced.
Your prior criminal history will also affect the potential penalties of a conviction. Many drug offenses are priorable, with subsequent offenses carrying harsher penalties. Sentencing judges are also far less lenient on repeat offenders, particularly when it comes to drug crimes.
Marijuana Possession: An Evolving Area of Oklahoma’s Drug Law
An ongoing issue in federal and state drug law is the increasing legalization of marijuana. In Tulsa and the rest of Oklahoma, marijuana is only legal for medicinal use. Ironically, it is still listed as a Schedule I controlled substance by both the federal government and the state government – the Schedule normally reserved for highly addictive substances with no medicinal use.
While some cities, including Tulsa, have deprioritized prosecuting drug possession cases that only involve marijuana in amounts that signal personal use only, it is still a crime in the state. Under Oklahoma Statute Title 63, § 2-402, possessing any amount of marijuana is a serious misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Some FAQs About Drug Crime in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and How The Criminal Defense Firm Protects the Rights of Defendants
Can Law Enforcement Use Circumstantial Evidence to Prove an Intent to Sell?
Yes, police and prosecutors rely heavily, and sometimes entirely, on circumstantial evidence to prove that you intended to sell the controlled substances in your possession. They do not need to witness a sale or find documentation or communications that show that a transaction was imminent or even planned. Instead, they often use the following facts to prove their case:
- You possessed the drugs in amounts too large for your personal use
- There was a lot of cash around
- You had associates who were involved in the drug trade
- Firearms were found
- You were in an area known for drug deals
- You have a record of dealing drugs
The presence of these factors can drastically increase the severity of the case.
What is the Best Legal Defense for My Case?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to defending against an allegation of a drug crime. The drug defense lawyers at The Criminal Defense Firm have used a variety of legal arguments to help their clients, including:
- Police entrapment
- Illegal search or seizure
- Police misconduct
- Problems with the chain of custody of incriminating evidence
- Unreliable testimony from law enforcement agents
- Errors testing the controlled substances at issue, leading to a false identification
- You had a prescription for the drugs or a medical marijuana card
In some cases, these defenses can prevent the prosecutor from establishing their case beyond a reasonable doubt. In others, they can significantly reduce the penalties of a conviction.
Why Should I Hire The Criminal Defense Firm?
The Criminal Defense Firm is one of the only law firms in the country that only employs senior level attorneys with decades of experience. This means two things:
- All of your legal representation comes from lawyers that have been protecting people like you for years, rather than from junior associates fresh out of law school or from paralegals, and
- All of your communication goes directly to the senior attorneys on your case.
You can rest assured that your concerns are heard and that the legal work you get is being performed by the experienced attorneys you wanted when you hired us.
Why Won't The Criminal Defense Firm Call Itself the Best Drug Defense Team in Tulsa, Oklahoma?
The Criminal Defense Firm: Legal Defense for Drug Cases in Tulsa, Oklahoma
If you have been accused of committing a drug crime in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you need a defense team to protect your rights. Call The Criminal Defense Firm at (866) 603-4540 or contact us online.