If you have already been convicted once for a drug offense, you know the upheaval it brought to your life. If you are facing drug charges again, this can have truly negative consequences. To avoid them, you need an experienced attorney that can fight to prevent a second conviction at all costs.
What factors play a role in the sentencing for drug offenses?
If you are convicted for a drug crime, the sentencing you receive will depend on:
- The reason why you were in possession of the drug – That is, whether you intended to sell it or if you had it for your own personal use.
- The type of drug that you had – They will want to know whether you were carrying marijuana or methamphetamines, Ritalin or heroin.
- The amount of drug you had on you – If you are found with large quantities on you, it is easier to assume that your intent was to sell them. This is associated with a much harsher penalty.
- Issues that may play a role when you were arrested – If you were found near a school, for example, it can easily be assumed that your intention was to sell to minors.
What is the difference between a first and a second conviction for drug offenses?
For your first offense, assuming that you have no prior record and there were no enhancing factors present, you would most likely qualify for probation or receive a light sentence. If you are convicted again, with one prior conviction in your record, the sentence will undoubtedly be harsher. Also, any lawyer will have a much harder time finding a way to defend you.
Being convicted a third time for the same crime automatically labels you as a repeat offender, and you will receive more prison time than indicated for this type of crime.
Besides harsher sentences, what other consequences might you face as a repeat offender?
Having a criminal record, no matter the crime, will play a deciding role in many aspects of your life, even if you have gone to jail, paid your fine, and fully completed your sentence. Having a criminal record will negatively impact:
- Your ability to find a good job, particularly in industries such as the financial sector.
- Your ability to maintain or get a professional license, such as for a real estate broker, CPA, pilot, doctor, nurse, or CPA, just to name a few.
- The possibility of your obtaining security clearance or keeping it.
- The way the court decides on your children’s custody and your visitation rights.
- Your ability to travel freely whenever and wherever you wish.
- Your chances of finding good housing options in some areas.
- The likelihood of a bank being willing to offer you a mortgage, a loan, or other financial instruments.
Other Consequences of Repeat Drug Offenses
Besides those named above, the fact that you are once again facing a drug offense may send a signal that you have a substance abuse problem. Although the court may direct you to a substance abuse program, this would mean that you have pleaded guilty, and this would be added to your criminal record.
Your best option, according to bajajdefense.com is to fight the charges with the help of a drug crime lawyer and look for rehabilitation programs on your own.
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