Drug Crime Terminology Guide

The legal definition of a word may sometimes be much more specific than the way the word is used colloquially. Drug manufacturing, for example, includes more than simply creating drugs in a factory. Legally speaking, drug manufacturing includes cultivation or producing naturally occurring elements which may then be used to manufacture a drug. Other terms which individuals often get mixed up include, intent to sell, distribution, trafficking, possession, diversion, and more.

  1. Possession - Drug possession is usually one of the less serious drug offences. Typically, being found guilty of possession will get you a hefty fine and, in some cases, jail time. Consequences vary based on the state, the type of drug you were in possession of, and whether this is a repeat offense. In order to be accused of possession, you must have (1) knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance (2) without a valid prescription and (3) in a quantity sufficient for personal use or sale.
  2. Intent to Sell - Intent to sell can be added on to a drug possession charge. A person being charged with intent to sell was not necessarily caught selling the drug but, there may be reason to believe that they planned on selling the drugs at a later date (typically because of a large quantity of drugs possessed).
  3. Trafficking - If you are thought to have been selling very large amounts of drugs, a drug distribution charge could turn into a drug trafficking charge. Drug trafficking also occurs when drugs are distributed across state lines (a federal crime).
  4. Manufacturing - Individuals can be charged for playing a role in drug manufacturing. This includes cultivation, growing, or possessing naturally occurring elements used in the production of drugs. This also includes drug production in a laboratory.
  5. Diversion - This is allowed in many states, but not all. Diversion means that if you are a first time offender and you agree to plead guilty and attend a substance abuse program, you will maintain a clean record after a divisionary period (usually about a year and a half). You must not commit any any additional offences during this period in order to have your record stay clean.

If you are being charged with a drug crime and still have questions, contact attorney David M. Dudley today. Mr. Dudley is a federal and state criminal defense attorney with years of drug-related crimes experience. Call 800-805-6167 for a free case evaluation.