What Are The Different Types of Drug Charges?

Anyone who has watched a couple episodes of a cop TV show or loves a good drug bust movie is familiar with some of the lingo used in drug charges. Paraphernalia, possession, drug trafficking; we have heard all of these terms uttered by our favorite grizzled veteran cop or begrudgingly loveable antihero. However, do you know what all of the different types of drug charges are and what exactly they mean? The Law Offices of Elliot Kanter in San Diego specializes in criminal defense for drug charges, and we can explain the most common types of drug charges.

Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Drug paraphernalia is a term used to describe equipment and tools used to prepare, store, and use illegal drugs. Paraphernalia can also be used to refer to equipment that is used to conceal or produce drugs. Using or owning drug paraphernalia is illegal, but it is also illegal to sell, export, or import any kind of drug paraphernalia. Examples of drug paraphernalia include bongs, pipes, rolling papers, and syringes.

Drug Possession Charges

It is a crime to possess controlled substances that are illegal at the federal and state level. Possession charges vary widely from state to state, and often federal laws can differ from statewide laws. There are two different kinds of possession charges, simple possession and possession with intent to distribute. Simple possession is for people with a small amount of drugs they most likely intend to use personally, while possession with the intent to distribute is for larger amounts of drugs that signifies the person in possession intends to sell the drugs. Possession with intent to distribute has much harsher penalties than simple possession.

Drug Manufacturing and Delivery Charges

If an individual is involved in any step of the manufacturing of an illegal substance they will be charged with drug manufacturing. The delivery of an illegal drug is also considered a crime, called drug delivery charges. A drug manufacturing charge could mean fines and possibly prison time.

Drug Trafficking Charges


Drug trafficking is when an individual sells, transports, or imports illegal drugs and the charge is a felony conviction. The more serious charge for trafficking vs. manufacturing charges is usually due to the amount of drugs involved in the charge, as trafficking charges usually involve substantially more drugs. The sentence for drug trafficking can be anywhere from 3 years to life in prison. 

Drug Dealing Charges

Drug dealing charges occur when an individual sells illegal drugs on a smaller scale. The difference between a drug dealing and trafficking charge differs from state to state, with drug dealing usually consisting of a smaller amount of drugs.

Drug Crimes Lawyer in San Diego at Elliot Kanter

If you have been charged with a drug-related offense, the Law Offices of Elliott Kanter can help. Our team of experts in drug charges and drug law will do whatever it takes to help you find justice. If you have been charged with a drug crime in San Diego, contact the Law Offices of Elliott Kanter today. Give us a call.

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