Drug crime law is a subset of criminal law, which deals with illegal possession, use, manufacture and sale of prohibited drugs. Drug crime law also deals with other criminal offenses associated with the possession, use, manufacture, and sale of illegal drugs. Illegal drugs include both "street" drugs and drugs specified under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
Because drug crimes are "victimless" crimes, it has been proven a daunting task for both the federal and state level to enforce the law. Unless drug use has contributed to a violent crime, it is difficult for the government to run after the perpetrators because there is no "victim" except the user or the trader. Under the CSA, the federal government regulates the legal production, possession, and distribution of controlled substances. Some drugs listed under the CSA are allowed to be used and sold provided that they are for specific reasons, such as medical use. "Street" drugs, which are all deemed illegal in the United States, include cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
All drug charges are considered felonies. The gravity, however, of the offense is determined upon the kind of drug involved, the quantity found with the offender, and the offender's intent to sell or use the drugs. The federal government, as well as the state government, is strict in enforcing anti-illegal drugs law that the penalties accompanying drug charges stiffer than the penalties for most crimes. Moreover, conviction for drug trafficking, especially if the trafficking is large scale, also leads to denial of federal benefits and forfeiture of real and personal property.
One of the most common issues arising from drug crimes is illegal stop and search or frisk. Police officers have the authority to stop and frisk suspicious individuals but because the Bill of Rights limits the government's encroachment upon personal liberties, in this case, the right against unnecessary search and seizures and unlawful issuance of warrants, those suspected of a drug crime can argue that they were illegally searched and stopped by law enforcement agencies. In defending a person accused of a drug crime, a drug crime law attorney must take note of the details prior to the arrest of the accused as the procedure as to how the accused was apprehended may lead to his or her acquittal.
With the rising incidences of interstate and inter-country drug trafficking, the federal government created an extensive web of agencies, enforcements, and programs meant to stop the proliferation of drug use in the United States. The government has identified, based on statistics, specific areas and ethnic groups where drug use and trade proliferates. It is thus not uncommon for law enforcement agencies to target impoverished neighborhoods or some ethnic groups in their surveillance. Some of these surveillance activities, however, result to ethnically-biased arrests and accusations. A person who is wrongfully accused of a drug crime badly needs the talent of a drug crime law expert as it is difficult to battle against a government that is bent on working towards a drug-free and safe society.