Forensic science has played an important role in regulating the daily activities of each member of the society. According to Saferstein (2011), forensic science incorporates laws that depict the nature and conditions under which any individual in a society can rightfully conduct him or herself. He terms forensic science as being primarily the application of science discipline in a society to enhance both the criminal and civil laws that form the basis of societal activities. Additionally, he points out that forensic science is an important tool especially to the law enforcement authorities as it helps them in their investigative approaches, when administering criminal justice system.
Saferstein (2011) notes that drug criminality has been an issue in any given society. This can be explained by the fact that such crimes, as related to drug crimes, have been increasing, especially in societies where there are no effective criminal laws and regulations that can curb the menace. However, he points out that the continued government authorities’ efforts to enhance advance forensic science methodology, especially in the drug criminal cases has helped in reducing this menace.
The write up highlights the classification of narcotic drugs in criminal laws by pointing out their differences. Forensic evidence is needed to obtain a conviction in a drug case as well as providing the necessity to analyze narcotics in a criminal case that provides the defendant with the possibility to cross-examine or challenge the presented evidence.
Classification of Narcotic Drugs in Criminal Laws
Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth (2006) identified the Drugs Act as a criminal law that has been used by various countries, especially UK, for the classification of narcotic drugs. They note that criminal laws have classified the narcotic drugs into three categories namely Class A, Class B and Class C. Each of these have distinct associated penalties. Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth (2006) noted that the classification of narcotic drugs is based on either the probability of the narcotic drug being misused or its adverse effects on the lives of people. For instance, heroin, cocaine, and magic mushroom are strong stimulants that normally lead to intense psychological dependence, hence are classified as Class A (Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth, 2006).
On the other hand, Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth (2006) note that narcotic drugs, such as the amphetamines and barbiturates, are the second used category of narcotics drugs and hence are classified in Class B. These drugs generally cause dehydration, which in turn results to death. Further more, Class C drugs such as cannabis, tamazepam, ketamin are seen not to be as harmful as those in Classes A and B. This is based on the fact that they have psychological dependence effect that is widely portrayed in an individual trait. This means that their effects do not cause as many deaths as Class A and B drugs (Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth, 2006).
Forensic Evidence Needed to Obtain a Conviction in a Drug Case
According to Reno (2009), the use of DNA technology has been appropriate in identifying the forensic evidence needed to obtain a conviction of a drug case. He points out that this technology analyzes the genetic component of an individual’s blood and other fluid, which enables it to indicate the content and capacity of the drugs consumed. He further notes that the use of DNA technology to analyze an individual’s fingerprint, especially at the crime scene, can help in identifying the drug criminals’ activities. This is essential for prosecution procedures. Additionally, the prosecutor is required to present in court accurate evidence on the scientific, medial and social effect of the drugs, which illustrate their adverse effects on the society (Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth, 2006).
Importance of Analyzing Drugs in Criminal Cases
According to Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth (2006), by analyzing drugs in criminal cases, the defendant is able to identify various case loopholes that may be represented by the prosecutor. They point out that each category of drugs has respective criminal influence on individuals that forms the basis for which a drug criminal case can be presented in the court. Thus, an attempt of not analyzing the content of the drug and its influence on the suspected criminal can cause the prosecutor to lose the case. For instance, amphetamines (Class B drug) have no clear association of influencing the criminal act as in the case with cocaine (Class A drug). Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth (2006) note that cocaine drug has been the cause of violent criminal act experienced by a number of individuals in the today’s society. This means that the defendant can easily challenge the prosecutor’s case on the basis of drugs effect on an individual as presented.
Additionally, analyzing the drugs helps in administering the right penalty associated with the crime. Saferstein (2011) points out that each drug category has distinct penalties and the defendant can easily challenge the drug criminal case if both the prosecutor and judges have not established such distinct difference. For instance, Class A drugs should include a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, while those convicted in Class B drugs should have a maximum penalty of 7 years (Levitt, Nason & Hallsworth, 2006).
In conclusion, it is therefore clear that forensic science is necessary in the establishment of appropriate evidence required in the conviction of the drug criminal cases. The write up has also illustrated that there is a need for investigative authorities to enhance DNA technologies in exonerating various evidences. This would help establish the role played by the drug suspects, which in turn leads to successful conviction.