The Legal Implications Of Drug Abuse

Getting involved with drugs at any level can lead to negative consequences, and that applies whether you have already entered or intend to enter drug rehab, or have no intention to seek help for your addiction. Worse, if you are someone whose relationship with drugs is not as a drug user, but instead supplying and selling drugs to others, then you must be aware that the penalties you could face if caught and convicted are extreme.

One thing that many who are convicted of a drug offence often say is that they had no idea how severe the penalties could be. You might find that hard to believe, but it is a sad fact, especially for those who have a drugs addiction, that their thoughts about the future are predominantly focused on where they are going get their next ‘fix’, rather than what might happen if they get caught buying or using the drugs that they hoped would give them that fix.

The fact is being caught, charged, and convicted with a drug offence has multiple implications for your life, including your relationships, your family, your employment, your future life, and most stark of all, for your liberty, should the punishment you are given be one of imprisonment. Let us look at all of these legal implications in some more detail.

Conviction and Punishment

Let us first focus on the most obvious legal consequence of drug abuse, and that is being convicted of a crime. Before we get to the possible punishments, we must first look at how being arrested, charged, and then taken to court may affect your life, even though, if the offence is deemed serious enough, you might be held in custody anyway until your case comes to court, which could take several months.

Whether you are kept in prison, or not, there will still be turmoil that stems from facing drug charges. It can affect your relationship with your spouse or partner, if you have children it could create a huge stigma time for them at school, and there is also your employment to consider, which could end as a result.

Coming back to your case, whether you plead guilty or decide to face trial, you must be aware that, depending on which state you live in, the penalties for drug offences relating to the possession and use of illegal drugs range from fines of thousands of dollars to two years imprisonment. Further, if you are selling or supplying drugs, those penalties rise significantly to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, plus a prison sentence that could be as high as life.

The Consequences Of Having A Criminal Record For Drug Offences

Once you have paid your fine or done your time in prison, you must know that the problems you face do not end there. You now have a criminal record, and there are plenty of scenarios where that must be declared. A prime example is applying for a job, which, in many cases, will be denied regardless of what skills, qualifications, and relevant experience you have for the simple fact that you have a criminal record that includes a conviction for drugs.

As well as having to declare your criminal record when applying for jobs, other negative scenarios can apply. You could be denied access to another country whether that be for work or leisure purposes, due to your drug conviction. Some financial companies may also take a dim view of you having a criminal record and refuse you certain services or credit as a result.

The final consequences relate to your family and relationships. If you are married, your spouse may wish to divorce you, and if, when you get out of prison you wish to spend time with your children, some Family Courts may insist on strict limitations and conditions until they are satisfied that your children are 100% safe. Family Law always seeks to protect children and, due to your drug conviction, you will be someone whom it feels is a risk to your children until you prove otherwise.