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4 important details that influence drug possession charges

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Drug Crimes

A drug possession charge carries a heavy burden on those convicted. Criminals may lose employment, housing and education opportunities if they are caught with an illicit substance. A conviction can also lead to several hundred to thousands of dollars in fines and several years behind bars.

The severity of a drug possession charge relies on a few key details. These factors can lead to lighter or harsher penalties. Here is what you should know:

1. The type of drug in possession

Drugs are categorized into schedules, which help identify whether a drug has any medical uses. Drugs that have a higher schedule are less likely to be used in hospitals and by doctors and more likely to cause addiction. Lower scheduled drugs are often bought over the counter or with prescriptions. The penalties of a drug charge can greatly hinge on a drug’s schedule.

2. The quantity of a drug found

Another factor that plays into drug charge penalties is the quantity of a drug that was in possession. Smaller quantities of illicit substances can warrant lesser penalties while larger quantities may imply there was trafficking. However, smaller quantities of higher scheduled drugs can still lead to very harsh repercussions.

3. The purpose of the drug

The intent for the use of an illicit substance can lead to various penalties. If the drug was for personal use, the suspect could face lesser charges than if they were selling or manufacturing the substance. A suspect who was distributing a drug could also face different charges depending on if they were selling to an adult or child.

4. Previous convictions

First-time drug possession charges may be harsh. However, if a defendant has a criminal record, they could face more severe charges. This is often done with the idea that more penalties will deter a defendant from violating laws in the future.

If you are facing drug possession charges, then having a strong defense could save your future.