Drug Possession Lawyer

Of the more than 1.5 million drug arrests in the United States in 2019, roughly 87 percent were for possession of a controlled substance. If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, you’ll need to find a qualified attorney well versed in drug possession law.

What Are Controlled Substances?

The federal government maintains a list of “controlled substances,” or those available (if at all) only through a prescription or other legitimate means. Drugs are classified under five “schedules” or categories of drugs, with the most dangerous placed in Schedule I and the least dangerous in Schedule V. Many, but not all, states have adopted the federal classification schedule.

What Constitutes “Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance?”

This occurs when a person owns or possesses a drug (controlled substance) without legal permission. For example, these charges typically apply to people found with marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines or other narcotics. To convict a person under this charge, a prosecuting attorney must prove that the defendant “knowingly” possessed the drug.

What Are the Consequences of Being Found Guilty of Drug Possession?

State laws vary, and there are several factors involved, including, the specific kind of drug (e.g., Schedule I drugs trigger higher penalties), circumstances surrounding the arrest, the criminal history of the person, etc.

Fines. Many convictions carry fines ranging from $100 or less to $100,000 or more.

Jail Time. Prison sentences are based on the crime, the kind and quantity of drugs possessed and the state’s laws. Sentences can range from a few days to 10 years or longer.

Rehabilitation. Several states permit courts to require a drug offender to participate in a rehabilitation or drug treatment program in lieu of a jail sentence.

Probation. This can be added to fines, jail time and rehabilitation. It requires the convicted person to check in regularly with their probation officer and comply with key standards, such as not using any more drugs, participating in drug treatment programs, and more.

Diversion. Similar to probation and often used with first-time offenders, the convicted person is required to enter a counseling or behavior modification program for a period of time, typically six or more months. If the offender successfully completes the program, the prosecuting attorney drops the charges.

There are serious issues to consider when facing drug charges, as an attorney, like a drug possession lawyer in Rapid City, SD, from a firm such as the Law Offices of Clayborne, Loos and Sabers LLP, can explain.