FAQ: Drug Charges
Drug use and related drug crimes are a problem across the entire country, and New Hampshire is no different. In fact, certain drug charges in the state have seen a marked increase over the past several years. For example, according to data put out by the U.S. Department of Justice, crimes involving drug equipment violations and crimes where offenders used drugs or alcohol have gone up 37.66% and 10.46% respectively, since 2020.
If you’ve been arrested for these or other drug charges and would like to meet with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options, call the Wiberg Law Office, PLLC, to schedule a consultation. Located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Attorney Wiberg is able to represent clients throughout the area including Rockingham County, Strafford County, Hillsborough, Dover, and Manchester.
Drug Charges in New Hampshire
When the term “drug charges” is used, it can refer to a number of crimes ranging from drug possession to possession with intent to sell, to selling or manufacturing of drugs. Some of these may be categorized as misdemeanors while others will be felonies. Regardless, they should all be handled by a professional to ensure your rights are represented and the penalties are minimized whenever possible.
FAQs About Drug Charges
I Just Want This to Go Away. Should I Accept a Plea Deal?
In some cases, it may be in your best interest to accept a plea deal, but not always. When you meet with your attorney, they’ll thoroughly evaluate your case and the available evidence, and dissect the prosecution’s arguments to determine the best course of action. A plea deal can often shorten the amount of time the entire process takes and can reduce your penalties or lessen the charges. However, in other instances, it may be more beneficial to see your case through the entire trial process.
Can I Be Charged for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?
In New Hampshire, you can be charged with a DWI (driving while impaired) for any drugs, not just alcohol, including over-the-counter prescription drugs. The possible penalties will also be the same as an alcohol-related DWI conviction.
When are Police Allowed to Search My Person, Vehicle, or Home?
Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement is only allowed to search your person, vehicle or home if they have your consent or can show probable cause. “Probable cause” means that the officer observed something that leads them to believe a crime has been committed. This may happen if you’re pulled over and an officer smells alcohol in the car, or if they can see something clearly visible on the backseat of your car through the window like a weapon or drugs. If they cannot show they had this, any incriminating evidence can be deemed inadmissible in court. Therefore, it’s almost always in your best interest to refuse a search if asked.
I Hear a lot About States Relaxing Marijuana and Other Drug Laws. What Is the Situation in New Hampshire?
It’s true that marijuana use and possession remain illegal at the federal level and is still considered a Schedule I drug. However, many states often treat crimes involving marijuana differently and have made the use of recreational marijuana legal. New Hampshire is somewhat of an outlier among other New England states in that it has not made marijuana legal, though many drug charges involving marijuana have been decriminalized, especially for first and second possession charges.
What Does it Take to be Charged With Possession With Intent to Distribute?
When you’re arrested on a drug possession charge, it can turn into an “intent to distribute” charge as well. For this to happen, the police don’t necessarily need evidence that you were distributing drugs, only that you had the intent to. This could be done by finding evidence of distribution, such as customer lists, large amounts of a drug, or supplies to portion off the drugs such as baggies or vials.
What are Controlled Substance “Schedules”?
The federal government divides drugs (“controlled substances”) into five different schedules ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V with Schedule I being the most serious involving drugs with no known medical purposes and the highest likelihood of abuse and addiction. For the most part, New Hampshire follows these schedules when sentencing for drug-related crimes.
Do I Need an Attorney to Defend Me?
In short, yes. You should never attempt to handle drug charges on your own, even if you think it’s minor or if you believe you aren’t guilty. You need an experienced lawyer who understands the law and will advocate on your behalf while helping you navigate the criminal justice system. The potential penalties are simply too high and serious not to get help.
Reach Out for a Strong Defense
When you contact the Wiberg Law Office, PLLC, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, you’ll be gaining a trusted partner as you work through the complicated and confusing criminal justice system. With over 30 years of experience in the legal world, Attorney Wiberg is committed to representing all of his clients with the same level of compassion and professionalism and he can help you too. Call today to learn more.