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DC Drug Attorney.
In Washington, DC, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, possess, or possess with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance. A controlled substance is defined as a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, which is detailed in the statutory schedules of the DC Official Code. A controlled substance does not include alcohol or tobacco products. Schedule I drugs include, but are not limited to, opiates and their derivatives, and hallucinogenic substances. Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, hashish, and a variety of depressants. Schedule III drugs include cannabis, certain amounts of codeine, and a variety of stimulants and depressants. Schedule IV drugs include Clonazepam, Phenobarbital, and a variety of stimulants.
A person cannot knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance in DC unless it was obtained directly through a valid prescription or order from a licensed medical practitioner acting within the professional course of his or her practice. If convicted for possession, creation, or distribution of a controlled substance, you face a prison term of one to thirty years, and fines ranging from $1,000 to $250,000, depending on the amount and type of controlled substance.
For second and subsequent offenses, you face a fine and prison term two times greater than that specified for the amount and type of controlled substance. The same penalty applies if you are convicted of possession or distribution of a controlled substance in a drug free zone. These zones are defined as within 1000 feet of a daycare, school for students of any age, playground, arcade, youth center, library, or public housing. Additionally, if you are over 21 years of age, and are found guilty of distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance to a person under the age of 18, you face a fine ranging from $1,000 to $250,000, and a prison term two times greater than that specified for the amount and type of controlled substance. The same penalty apples if found guilty of selling any controlled substance to a minor.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is defined as possession of a hypodermic needle, hypodermic syringe, or other instrument having at least trace quantities of a controlled substance in or on it, with intent to use it to administer a controlled substance by subcutaneous injection. If convicted you face a fine specified in the DC Code based on the amount and type of controlled substance. Additionally, you face up to 180 days imprisonment. Possession includes both actual and constructive possession, and is defined in terms of personal custody and control. Actual possession means the substance is within the physical custody of the person charged. Constructive possession does not mean actual, physical custody, but that the person has intent to control and power over the substance.
Drug charges in Washington, DC are very serious and can have a significant impact on your life. If you are facing drug charges, contacting an experienced Washington, DC drug lawyer can help you navigate this difficult situation and potentially assist in getting a reduced sentence.
For further detail regarding the drug laws please refer to the District of Columbia Official Code.