If you have been arrested on drug possession charges, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your freedom. Many drug possession cases are dismissed or reduced before reaching court. An experienced lawyer can challenge the evidence against you as well as the arrest procedures. This is important because a criminal record can affect your employment, housing, and occupational license.
The penalties associated with drug possession vary greatly. Simple possession is a misdemeanor, whereas possession with intent to distribute carries stiffer penalties. The difference in charges is primarily based on the amount of drug in the defendant’s possession. Small amounts usually constitute misdemeanors, while larger amounts are felony-level offenses.
Besides drugs, drug possession laws also cover precursor chemicals and drug paraphernalia. This includes syringes, pipes, bongs, and other devices used for the consumption of illicit drugs. In some states, possession of drug paraphernalia includes plant material. For example, possessing plants or seeds of marijuana can lead to manufacturing, distribution, and trafficking charges.
The amount of drugs you possess and the intent with which you use them is also important in determining whether you are guilty of possession of a prohibited drug. Illegal drug possession can involve a variety of drugs, from prescription to illegal street drugs. Drug possession laws vary from state to state, and their exact definitions can vary widely. To protect your rights, it’s important to hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer.
There are two types of possession charges for illegal drug possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession requires that you have control over the drug at the time of discovery. Constructive possession means you have control over it and had access to it. For example, if a police officer finds drugs in a person’s car during a traffic stop, they can charge that person with possession.
Illegal drug possession is a felony, and the punishment is usually jail time. Simple possession of a small amount of illegal drugs is usually a misdemeanor, but possession of a larger amount of illegal drugs is usually a felony. Large amounts of drugs are usually charged as possession with intent to distribute.
Penalties for drug possession vary, depending on the drug, the amount, and the location. It’s possible to get as much as ten years in jail for drug possession. Penalties increase if you were near a school or a youth club. You may also receive more severe punishments if you’ve previously been arrested or charged with crimes involving drugs.
A conviction for drug possession can result in jail time, fines, or rehabilitation. Many states have programs similar to probation that allow drug offenders to keep their clean records and avoid jail time. They require that the offender complete an approved substance abuse program. A drug conviction can make it difficult to get a job, housing, or even a loan.