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What are the elements of a drug manufacturing charge?

Whether a defendant was growing marijuana in the basement or maintaining a chemical lab to manufacture designer drugs, the charge of drug manufacturing relates to the creation of illicit drugs. Some of the most common drugs that people are accused of manufacturing are methamphetamine, marijuana and ecstasy.

The crime of drug manufacturing does not have to involve the complete manufacturing process. An individual could be involved in only one small part of the illicit drug creation process, and a court could still construe the action to be "drug manufacturing." For example, individuals who knowingly sell drug manufacturing equipment, precursor chemicals or only make an offer to manufacture and produce controlled substances could be convicted of this crime.

Usually, drug manufacturing is a felony-level offense, which means that those who are convicted could face high fines, prison time and probation. If the drug manufacturing activities happen close to a playground or school, these punishments could be more severe in certain cases.

There are two primary factors that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict an accused person of drug manufacturing:

  1. The possession of illegal drugs
  2. The intent to manufacture illegal drugs

For instance, imagine a defendant was found to be in possession of pseudoephedrine (a controlled substance in many states that is a precursor to methamphetamine). The illegal nature of the substance might not be sufficient to lead to a manufacturing conviction. However, if police also find laboratory equipment used to make meth -- even if that equipment is unused -- the combination of factors could indicate an intent to produce methamphetamine and that could be sufficient to lead to a conviction.

If you were accused of drug manufacturing, these are serious allegations that require a serious-minded defense. Make sure to plan your criminal defense strategically and appropriately.

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