Intensified Penalties for Crystal Meth Conviction
Increased use of crystal meth led to the federal government passing the Methamphetamine Epidemic Act in 2005 as a part of the government’s war on drugs. The key objective of installing the act was to put tight restrictions on the legal uses of crystal meth, as well as the increasing of the severity for its possession punishment laws. As a result of the expanding epidemic of crystal methamphetamine use, states like New Mexico have followed suit, employing the same consequences for crystal meth possession as the federal government.
Even small quantities of crystal meth can result to possession charges. A possession charge carries 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines. This prison sentence will not exceed 3 years for third degree felony.
Intent to Distribute Crystal Meth
These larger amounts can be a red flag to the law enforcement and the courts as having an “intent to distribute” which can lead to very harsher penalties. In certain cases possession charges and in worse cases manufacturing charges, can be brought against individuals that only possessed the over-the-counter drugs or chemicals used in the manufacturing of meth (otherwise known as precursor chemicals/ingredients, or meth paraphernalia). Among others, this consists of ephedrine, Methylamine, phenyl-2-propanone, hydriodic acid, and hydrogen gas.
Crystal Meth Defense
Just some of the strategies to fight against a possession of methamphetamine charge is to challenge the intent of the individual. From there the adequacy of the proof and/or the police testimony may be questioned, as well as the constitutionality of the stop, search, or investigation. A defense may even question the validity of use, meaning whether it was appointed by a healthcare provider or not. The simple existence of crystal meth in a household does not constantly relate that each and every person in the residential property is subject to possession, as the court must justify a specific individual to have meant to possess the drugs. This vital aspect guards innocent spectators who could instinctively be living with a meth user, or may have had the drug planted on them.