If you’ve been charged with drug possession, you may wonder what the consequences and your options are. Many people think that drug possession charges are not serious, but they can be quite severe. The penalties for drug possession vary depending on the type and amount of drug involved, but they can range from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Learn more about drug possession below.
Authorities on Drug Possession
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the US, possessing a controlled substance is a felony in most states. The consequences of a drug possession conviction can include jail time, probation, and a criminal record. This federal agency also states that most drug arrests are for possession, not trafficking.
In Canada, possession of a controlled substance is governed by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). The CDSA sets out different types of offenses for possession, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and trafficking of controlled substances. The penalties for these offenses range from a fine of up to $1,000 to imprisonment for life, depending on the type and quantity of drug involved.
In the UK, drug possession is also a criminal offense. Because the UK has a different legal system than the US, drug possession penalties may differ. However, they can still be quite severe.
Punishment for Drug Possession
Generally speaking, the punishment for drug possession is less severe than the punishment for drug trafficking. However, there are some important exceptions to this rule. For example, possessing large quantities of drugs can lead to a charge of “possession for the purpose of trafficking,” which carries more severe penalties.
Possessing small amounts of marijuana (up to 30 grams) is not a criminal offense in Canada. Instead, it is punishable by a fine of $200. However, possessing larger amounts of marijuana and other drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, can result in criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with drug possession, you must speak to a drug crime attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options and what you can expect.
The Penalties For Drug Possession
The penalties for drug possession depend on several factors, including the type and quantity of drug involved and your criminal history (if any). Possession of a small quantity of drugs (less than 3 grams) generally results in a fine or probation. Possession of larger amounts can lead to harsher penalties, such as imprisonment.
Trafficking drugs is a more serious offense that carries more severe penalties. Trafficking includes selling drugs, transporting them, or producing them. The maximum penalty for trafficking is life imprisonment. This sentence is generally reserved for the most serious cases, such as trafficking large quantities of drugs or trafficking drugs to minors.
Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes and bongs, is also a criminal offense in many jurisdictions. The penalties for this offense are typically less severe than those for drug possession, but they can still lead to a criminal record that can make it challenging to find employment or housing.
Defense Against Drug Possession Charges
If you’ve been charged with drug possession, you must speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you understand the drug charges against you and the possible penalties. They can also help you develop a defense against the charges. There are several defenses to drug possession charges, including:
- The drugs belonged to someone else
- You didn’t know the drugs were drugs
- The police searched you illegally
- The police entrapped you
These are just a few of the possible defenses to drug possession charges. But remember that each case is unique, and the best defense will depend on the facts of your case. Depending on the strength of the evidence against you, your lawyer may also be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. It could result in a reduced charge or sentence.
If you’ve been charged with drug possession or trafficking, it’s crucial to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to understand your options and what you can expect. The penalties for these offenses are severe and can range from a fine to life imprisonment. You need an experienced lawyer on your side to help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights.
However, if charged with drug possession, you can raise a few defenses to try and get the charges reduced or dismissed. Always remember to speak to a lawyer so that they can go over the specific facts of your case and help you determine which defenses may be available to you.