Acts of terrorism, murder and violence are often perceived as the most dangerous and serious crimes people could commit, while property crimes and white-collar crimes may not seem as serious to many people.
By contrast, attitudes about drug crimes have begun to shift in recent years, with people taking a more compassionate approach in many cases, despite how slow the law has been to evolve in kind. Although it is common for people to associate drug crimes with offenders of lower socioeconomic status who struggle with addiction and white-collar crimes with successful professionals, sometimes there is a surprising degree of overlap between white-collar criminal activity and drug crimes.
Here are two of the most common scenarios in which individuals may find themselves accused of both white-collar criminal offenses and drug crimes:
When someone profits from drug manufacturing or trafficking
Anyone who creates, transports or distributes controlled substances could potentially face criminal charges for their actions. The money that they earn can even be a source of risk, as it can be very difficult for people to spend or save illicitly-gotten resources.
As a result, money laundering efforts often go hand-in-hand with drug enterprises. Those achieving success in distributing or manufacturing drugs typically need to find ways to legitimize their revenue, thus resulting in money laundering charges in addition to drug-related charges if they get caught.
When a professional develops an addiction
Substance abuse disorders can drastically change a person’s behavior. Someone who has spent years developing their career could undermine everything in a few weeks if they become dependent on prohibited substances or pain medication for which they no longer have a prescription.
Professionals, desperate to access specific medications, might engage in fraud to pay for their drugs or to access them. Prescription fraud and embezzlement are both examples of white-collar crimes that professionals may commit as a means of supporting their substance abuse disorder.
Prosecutors are often eager to levy the most serious charges they can against a defendant and will frequently hand down multiple charges over a single incident. Learning more about the somewhat surprising intersection between white-collar crimes and drug offenses can help those who need to plan a strong criminal defense strategy.