Certain illicit drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, are restricted at both the federal and state level. This includes the manufacturing, cultivation, trafficking, distribution and possession of these substances. Conviction on drug charges often carries stiff sentences, including prison time, but sometimes prosecutors will offer plea deals to lower-level offenders in exchange for help with a larger case. Some states have enacted medical marijuana laws, allowing physicians to recommend the drug for certain illnesses while exempting qualified patients from criminal prosecution on marijuana-related drug charges. Other states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. The following articles pertain to drug charges and their respective sentences upon conviction. As with any criminal charge, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer is indispensable if you're facing drug charges. Besides the criminal penalties involved, a conviction can lead to many negative consequences, such as difficulties in obtaining employment. A qualified criminal defense attorney in your area can provide you much needed legal advice and representation in a court of law.