“Drug possession” can consist of a large a range of plausible violations and potential charges, just like the term “drugs” can describe a widely varied list of prohibited natural and synthetic substances. This is also determined by which state you are busted in considering that each has its own laws pertaining to what constitutes drug possession and the potential penalties and sentences that a conviction can bring. But there are a few standard guidelines that apply in most states.
It is also essential to take note that drug possession may be considered an offense or felony and there are several different factors which will determine that. A number of these factors involve your age, your past criminal history, whether you were on school grounds, the amount you have on you and any whether you also had drug paraphernalia.
Another thing you must consider is that just because you are charged with possession, it does not mean that this is the only charge they will give you. You can get multiple charges all associating with the same incident, including intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia and even DUI. Based on where you live, if you have drugs on you and carry items, such as a bat, you may even be imposed with a weapons charge.
What else is critical to know when you are dealing with a drug possession charge?
Drug Possession: Quantity Matters
In all drug possession case, some of the most important factors in determining the result is the amount of drugs found on your person. Typically, a few drugs will be considered “simple” possession, or possession for personal use, carrying a light fine that’s equivalent to a traffic violation in states that have decriminalized marijuana. However, a bigger quantity of drugs may result to charges of possession with intent to distribute, which basically brings much harsher criminal consequences.
So as to establish an intent to distribute charge, law enforcement may require additional proof beyond the amount of an illegal substance. To establish an intent to distribute, law enforcement officials will search for things like drug packaging materials, scales or other measuring apparatus, large amounts of cash or even messages on a mobile phone or computer.
Drug Possession: Pot Possession May Be Less Severe
The kind of drug you have in your possession can also determine the severeness of the probable penalties. In many states, marijuana possession may still be on a par with other illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy. And even though marijuana is still illegal under federal law, two states– Colorado and Washington– have made the possession of marijuana legal, while a few other states and areas have decriminalized marijuana and turned the simple possession of a small amount of marijuana into a civil infraction, commonly punishable by a small fine.
Drug Possession: Potential Punishments
And so, getting each of that into account– the state you’re in, the drug you’re captured with, the amount of the drug in your possession, the scenarios surrounding your arrest, and the presence of prior drug possession convictions all affect the fines you pay and how long you will be imprisoned.
Drug Possession: Other Potential Punishments
Certainly, not everybody busted for marijuana gets jail time. But that does not mean that they do not endure a lot of challenges coming from their arrest– including, but not restricted to: probation and mandatory drug testing, loss of job, loss of child custody, removal from subsidized housing, asset forfeiture, loss of student aid, loss of voting privileges, and the loss of certain federal welfare benefits like food stamps.
Drug Possession: Defending a Possession Charge
There is a number of ways that a defense lawyer can go about defending your case for you. They can assess your case to see if there is some sort of loophole that you may be able to fit into to have the case dismissed. Only an attorney who is experienced in defending possession charges and laws should defend you.
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