5 Factors That Can Impact The Outcome of a Drug Crime Case

Photo of miscellaneous wrapped drugs, a scale, and paper money.

An arrest for a drug crime can be a life-changing event. Whether it’s possession, distribution, or trafficking, the charges someone faces can significantly impact their life and future. A drug crime conviction can result in jail time, hefty fines, and a criminal record that can follow someone for the rest of their life. However, the outcome of a drug crime case can depend on several factors besides the type and quantity of drugs involved.

1. Criminal History

If someone has a history of criminal activity or drug-related offenses, it can be used against them in court to argue that they are a repeat offender and, therefore, deserving of harsher penalties. On the other hand, if this is their first offense, they may be more likely to receive a more lenient sentence. However, the specific circumstances of the case and the judge's discretion also play a role in determining the outcome.

2. Intent to Distribute

Intent to distribute means that a person has the intention of selling, distributing, or even sharing drugs with others. A person convicted of drug possession with intent to distribute can face much harsher penalties than someone convicted of simple possession. The prosecution will use various pieces of evidence to establish that the person intended to sell the drugs. This evidence can include the quantity of drugs, the presence of packaging materials, or even text messages discussing sales.

3. Cooperation with Law Enforcement

If someone cooperates with law enforcement, their charges and penalties may be reduced. This can include providing information about other drug dealers or criminal activity. However, it is crucial to have legal representation when considering cooperating with law enforcement. An experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to ensure that any cooperation agreement is fair and protects their client’s rights.

4. Location of the Offense

Drug crimes that occur near schools, parks, or other areas where children are present can result in more severe charges and penalties. Additionally, if the drug crime occurred on federal property, the individual may face federal charges with even more severe penalties.

5. Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors can include the use of a weapon during the commission of the drug offense, committing the offense in a drug treatment facility, correctional facility, park or school zone, having a very large amount of the controlled substance, and being involved in gang activity. These factors can result in more severe charges and penalties.

Facing Drug Charges in Minneapolis? We’re Available 24/7

Drug offenses, no matter how minor, can result in serious repercussions in Minnesota. The penalties are likely to be disproportionately high and could even lead to federal prosecution since drug crimes are a violation of national law. It is critical to seek the counsel of a reliable Minneapolis drug crime attorney to safeguard your rights in court.

At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., we serve clients in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the greater Minnesota area. Joseph Tamburino, one of our lead attorneys, is board-certified by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a legal specialist in criminal law — an achievement only 3% of attorneys can claim. Simply put, we have what it takes to protect you. We are here to help you know where you stand and what to do next.

To schedule your free no-obligation consultation, call us at (612) 444-5020 or fill out our online contact form.

We invite you to take a look at our client reviews and track record to see for yourself why we’re Minnesota’s premier law firm.

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