Defendants charged with felony drug offenses face serious consequences. Convictions may result in a prison sentence, meaning that more than one year in custody can be imposed. Substances – often called “contraband” by law enforcement – may include cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, prescriptions drugs, methamphetamine and marijuana. Worse, felony drug offenses may also initiate forfeiture proceedings. In other words, defendants may lose personal property and real property associated with the charges. Finally, the penalties for a felony drug offense vary depending on whether the defendant has prior convictions, the quantity of drugs recovered, the substance involved, whether a weapon was present and whether the charge is filed as a possession, possession with intent, or manufacturing. Many times, law enforcement uses confidential informants, or a “CI” to work undercover and gain evidence against defendants in the form of wiretapped conversations and videotaped drug transactions.
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