Do you have questions about drug possession charges? Drug possession is a serious crime, and it is punishable by prison time. Drug possession laws vary by state, but are generally broken down into two categories: simple possession of drugs and drug possession with intent to distribute. Possession of drugs with intent to distribute typically carries a harsher punishment. Drug possession laws differentiate between simple possession and intent to distribute, and often depend on the quantity of drugs in a person’s possession. Large amounts of drugs suggest that they are intended for distribution. Evidence of this may include scales, plastic baggies, business cards, and statements from witnesses.
The punishments for drug possession vary by state and federal laws. First-time possession of marijuana is punishable by up to a year in prison and a mandatory fine of $1,000. A second-time possession conviction carries a minimum sentence of 90 days and a mandatory fine of $2,500. The penalties for possession with intent to distribute drugs increase with each subsequent conviction. If you commit the same crime again, you could face up to three years in prison and a fine of $100,000.
Other types of drug possession charges can be felony-level. They can range in severity, depending on the type and quantity of drugs, and aggravating circumstances. For example, if a person had the keys to a van filled with drugs, he would be liable for drug possession. But even if you had no knowledge that you were carrying narcotics, you could be charged.
The amount of drugs that you possess may be too small to warrant a conviction. However, drug possession is a serious crime, regardless of how small the amount is. Even small amounts of drugs can lead to federal charges, which carry heavy mandatory minimum sentences. The federal government regulates drug possession by dividing drugs into five schedules. These schedules are based on their perceived medical and abuse potential. If you’re caught with small amounts of drugs, you may face a felony sentence.
Penalties for drug possession vary by drug class and the quantity found. The amount of drugs seized is also a factor, as is where they were found. Possession of a controlled substance close to a school or youth club could result in a higher sentence. Additionally, the punishment depends on the person’s personal history, including previous crimes and drug offences. If the drug possession charges are a first-time offender, the penalties may be increased.
If you have been charged with drug possession, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your options. Whether you’ve been arrested for simple possession or drug possession with intent to sell, an attorney can help you fight the charges and fight for your rights. By hiring a lawyer, you’ll have the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome. The Law Offices of Daniel A. Hochheiser can fight your charges and get you the best possible result.