An Overview of Drug Possession Laws

By on 6-30-2015 in Criminal Defense

Drug-related crimes are consistently met with aggressive punishment across all 50 states in the United States. According to the website of the Bruno Law Offices, 1.9 million drug arrests were made across the nation in the year 2006. Among the drug violations that entail strict penalties is the possession of illegal substances. While the specific punishment for drug possession charges varies depending on state laws, those convicted with such a crime can expect to face consequences that could leave devastating long-term effects.

Across America, drug possession generally refers to the willful possession of illegal substances either for recreational personal use, distribution, sale, or other similar endeavors. Any individual who is caught having specific amounts of drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine will be charged with a crime and can expect to meet harsh punishment. Most drug possession laws in the U.S. delineate penalties based on the quantity of drugs found on a person. For example, individuals caught with smaller quantities of drugs are set to meet penalties that are less stringent than those caught with large amounts of a specific substance. Some drug possession laws also recognize that there are some substances that are more dangerous than others. As a result, individuals found to be possessing highly addictive drugs like heroin meet steeper punishment compared to those in possession of drugs like marijuana.

In Texas, for example, an individual carrying less than 2 ounces of marijuana will be charged with a misdemeanor. This entails up to 180 days of jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000. In comparison, getting caught with more than 4 ounces of marijuana is already considered a felony. Meanwhile, as Ian Inglis Attorney at Law points out on his website, cocaine possession is an automatic felony. Depending on the amount found on a person, cocaine possession can be considered a state jail felony, third-degree felony, second-degree felony, first-degree felony, or an enchanted first-degree felony.