Drug possession charges by state

List of Federal Drug Charges

Every state has strict laws concerning the possession of a controlled substance, and Alabama is no exception. Getting caught with drugs may be considered either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the type of substance in question, but both offenses are subject to harsh penalties.

Here are some of the most common defenses used to avoid conviction of such charges. Proving possession can be especially difficult if the drugs were found in a common area or car that other people have regular access to. The Fourth Amendment of the U. Constitution protects citizens from illegal searches conducted by law enforcement.

They must have either probable cause, a warrant, or consent to perform a lawful search of your home, vehicle, or person. Officers frequently set up sting operations and go undercover to catch suspected criminals in the act of breaking the law. This is referred to as entrapment. With so much at stake when facing possession charges, you need a qualified attorney on your side to aggressively advocate for your rights.

Fortunately, you can trust the legal team at J. Backed by years of experience, the firm has successfully represented countless residents throughout Baldwin County, AL. Send a Tweet Share on Facebook. RobertsdaleAL Strategies to Fight a Drug Possession Case 1. Entrapment Officers frequently set up sting operations and go undercover to catch suspected criminals in the act of breaking the law.

Share Story. Since court-appointed public defenders are When two people are getting divorced, they are ending a marriage that they thought was going to last, and they are also having to divide marital property and, oftentimes, address cus With Spring and Summer upon us the possibility of obtaining a Public Intoxication charge becomes more of a possibility with the police on the lookout for spring breakers and summer v However, every liDrug charges, and any criminal charges in general can be a complex situation for the individual accused.

Different states have different laws and different consequences for drug related charges. Confusion may arise when the state law and U. In the U. Constitution, Article VI is the Supremacy Clause, which states that federal law shall override state laws when the two conflict. Find out what Florida vs. Federal law states that it is illegal to knowingly and willingly possess illegal drugs. Further, the law states that it is also illegal to possess certain substances or equipment that are known to be used in the manufacture or use of those drugs.

If someone is charged with a drug crimein order to face prosecution, it must be proven that the person in question knew that the drug was an illegal substance and that they were the one who was in control of it. The second offense comes with harsher penalties. As mentioned earlier, federal law trumps state laws—but a gray area is emerging as some states are beginning to legalize some drugs, such as marijuana.

The 50 states vary on the severity of drug laws, and Florida has some of the strictest in the country. Any illegal drug possession could result in a felony. Some drugs have specific amounts needed to be present in order to constitute a criminal charge. Despite more liberal ideas toward marijuana in other states, possession of even a small amount of it can lead to a misdemeanor offense in Florida. In conclusion, knowingly being in possession of even small amounts of illegal drugs, whether intended for personal use or distribution, can be a criminal offense in the state of Florida.

Florida has rather strict, specific laws, that fit under the broader federal regulations. A federal offenseor felony, can result if the crime involves one of the following factors: arrest by a federal agent, carrying drugs across state lines, or use of the federal mail system.

If none of these are the case, the crime may be tried in the state of Florida. If counted as a federal crime, it could be tried on a federal level. If ever accused of a drug crime in Florida, you should speak with an attorney regarding what court system you will be dealing with. Your email address will not be published. Federal Drug Possession Laws Federal law states that it is illegal to knowingly and willingly possess illegal drugs. Florida Drug Possession Laws The 50 states vary on the severity of drug laws, and Florida has some of the strictest in the country.

Author Bio Whitney S. Boan, P.At American Addiction Centers, we strive to provide the most up-to-date and accurate medical information on the web so our readers can make informed decisions about their healthcare. Our reviewers are credentialed medical providers specializing in addiction treatment and behavioral healthcare. We follow strict guidelines when fact-checking information and only use credible sources when citing statistics and medical information. Look for the medically reviewed badge Medically Reviewed Badge on our articles for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Problematic substance use has the potential to negatively impact every area of your life. As dependence and addiction to alcohol or other drugs develop, these substances may begin to influence your physical and mental health, significantly affecting the way you feel and think.

Depending on the situation and the substances involved, possessing, selling, manufacturing, or transporting drugs even legal ones can lead to serious legal consequences, the effects of which may last a lifetime. People caught engaging in illegal behaviors involving drugs face a variety of consequences, including: 2,3. Time in jail or federal prison. Heavy fines. Community service. Other forms of confinement like house arrest. A criminal record that affects your ability to get or maintain a job, receive approval for college loans, vote, own a gun, or join the military.

Jails and prisons are filled with people charged with crimes related to drugs.

drug possession charges by state

Injudges sentenced nearly 95, people to prison for drug charges. The penalties for drug-related charges are determined by several factors: the substance, the amount of the substance in question, the activity the person was engaged in, and their prior encounters with law enforcement.

With regard to law enforcement, not all drugs are treated equally. Both legal and illicit substances are separated into categories based on their perceived risks and medical benefits or lack thereof.

drug possession charges by state

These categories developed by the Drug Enforcement Administration DEA —called schedules—play a significant role in dictating legal penalties on the federal level. Individual states may treat these drugs differently.

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See below for schedules and examples of drugs in those schedules. Schedule I : Substances with a high potential for abuse and no medically recognized purpose.A federal drug charge is a narcotic-related criminal act deemed illegal by the federal government. Federal crimes are prosecuted in federal courts and involve sentences in federal prisons.

The number of federal crimes has long believed to be virtually uncountable. Many of these crimes involve drugs. Technically, anyone who ends up getting arrested for a drug offense can be considered in violation of a federal law, but most people are only prosecuted on a federal level if:. The above offenses apply to illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine as well as legal drugs such as Ativan or Percocet that are used or distributed illegally.

Drug offenses are the second most committed federal crime, second only to immigration offenses; they typically account for 30 percent of all federal crimes while immigration crime accounts for 32 percent. Fraud and possession of illegal firearms each account for around ten percent; other federal crimes make up the remaining offenses.

A table created by the United States Sentencing Commission weighs the criminal history of the defendant against the nature of the offense. It then places criminals in the following sentencing zones:. There are 43 levels of offenses. To help this process, each crime is assigned a base offense level.

The manual for sentencing guidelines contains the base offense level for hundreds, if not thousands, of drug crimes. The varying levels in regards to unlawful manufacturing and the like are due to several mitigating factors. Base offense levels can also be increased or decreased by prosecutors. If someone is caught selling PCP and violence is involved, the crime will usually have a level that is increased by two, to People who are found to be minimally involved in a drug crime will usually find their level decreases by two.

Once the base offense level is determined, the criminal history of the defendant is taken into consideration and a sentencing zone is determined. Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is provided as a service to the Internet community but does not constitute legal advice.

What Makes a Drug Crime a Federal Offense?

We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site and its associated sites. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. CopyrightFederalCharges. All Rights Reserved. Examples of Federal Drug Charges The number of federal crimes has long believed to be virtually uncountable.

Drug manufacturing.Oxycodone is the generic name for Percocet, Oxycontin, and Tylox. Synthetic drugs have been all the rage in the last couple of years. Think of bath salts, spice, or K2. Possession of less than three grams of synthetic drugs is a first-degree misdemeanor. Possession of more than three grams of synthetic drugs is a third-degree felony.

In Florida, the most common defense to drug possession charges is the insufficient evidence defense. Simply, each charge has elements that make up the crime that the state must prove to get a conviction. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard in our legal system. Constructive possession is a defense when cocaine or another drug is found in a place to which more than one person had access. Construct possession is a helpful defense, because it requires the state to additionally prove that the accused had knowledge of the presence of the drugs and the ability to exercise and maintain control over the drugs.

These are additional elements that need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. And as you can imagine, without statements by a witness or the accused, it can be tough to prove knowledge of the presence of drugs. In this scenario, the police would be unable to convict you unless they had some sort of proof or evidence that you knew there was cocaine in the trunk of the car.

A strong defense that can lead to charges being dismissed is the illegal search and seizure defense. Our Constitution requires that police officers act reasonably when they search or seize a citizen.

If a police officer is violating constitutional rights by searching or seizing a citizen unreasonably, then we need to do something about that. And the best thing to do about it?

The end result is a dismissal of the charge. For example, consider someone who is driving down the road with a big bag of marijuana in the backseat. So the officer pulls the accused over for no legal reason. A good lawyer will use the search and seizure defense to get the case dismissed. There is an affirmative defense to the charge of possession of drugs if the accused can prove that he or she did not know that the substance in their possession was a drug.

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Consider this hypothetical yet realistic example. A man is pulled over by the police.

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When the police pat down the accused, they find a baggie of cocaine in his pants. I had no idea that cocaine was there.Federal drug laws exist to control the use, manufacturing, possession, and distribution of various drugs that are legal and illegal.

Federal agencies collaborate with both state and local law enforcement to ensure effective controls over substances that are deemed to be a danger to individuals and to society.

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Federal agents focus mainly on trafficking, but state agencies make most arrests for drug offenses, and many of these arrests are for possession. Each state has its own drug laws and regulations, but the Controlled Substances Act allows Feds to enforce federal drug laws in any jurisdiction regardless of the laws of any state.

President Richard Nixon sought greater federal control over drugs in the early s. It established a classification or scheduling system for drugs. The CSA considers a variety of factors when placing drugs in control categoriesincluding the following: 4.

Drugs are then categorized into 1 of 5 schedules: 4 Schedule I drugs have a high potential for misuse, no accepted medical treatment in the United States, and a lack of safety even if they were to be supervised by a medical professional. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for misuse and addiction, but they can be used in the United States with strict controls.

Cocaine, PCP phencyclidinemethamphetamine, and opioids such as methadone, fentanyl, morphine, and hydrocodone are Schedule II substances. These drugs include codeine medications with aspirin or acetaminophen, anabolic steroids, and some barbiturates. Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for misuse and psychological or physical dependence than those listed above and are currently accepted in medical use. They include the painkiller tramadol Ultram as well as benzodiazepines such as alprazolam Xanaxclonazepam Klonopinand diazepam Valium.

Schedule V drugs have an even lower potential for abuse or dependence, are accepted as legitimate medical treatments, and include cough medicines containing codeine.

It also established mandatory minimum sentencing laws for federal drug trafficking, depending on the substance and amount in question. This act also addressed the differences between powdered and crack cocaine. For example, a person had to be caught with times more powdered cocaine than crack cocaine to receive the more severe minimum sentence the ratio was later reduced from to in The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of was enacted to reduce the availability and demand of drugs.

How to Get a Possession Charge Dropped

The new mandatory minimum sentencing laws created a rise in prison populations due to drug charges. About half of the federal prison population is serving time for drug offenses. The charge of possession can be broken into 2 categories: simple possession and possession with the intent to distribute. Simple possession occurs when a person is caught with a small amount of an illegal substance for personal use.

This offense carries heavier consequences. Drug trafficking and distribution laws set penalties for the transportation, sale, or smuggling of drugs.

drug possession charges by state

This term also applies to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Trafficking is a felony, and the penalties depend on the substance or substances, amount of drugs involved, where the drugs are distributed, where the arrest occurs, and if drugs were distributed to minors. Manufacturing refers to involvement of any step of producing an illicit drug, such as sales of chemicals used to make drugs or equipment used to produce drugs, or assisting in the production process. Growing marijuana is considered manufacturingalong with production of methamphetamine.

Manufacturing illegal drugs near schools or playgrounds can lead to double fines and sentences.Drug possession is the crime of willfully possessing illegal substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. Drug possession accounts for over 80 percent of all drug-related arrests in the United States, according to the Department of Justice. Additionally, almost half of those arrests are for marijuana possession.

How to beat any possession charge!!!

In part because of law enforcement campaigns targeting these crimes, arrests for drug possession have almost doubled within the last two decades. Possession of a drug or another illegal controlled substance occurs only when a defendant is knowingly in possession of the substance. This requires two things. First, the defendant must have known that he or she was carrying the drug or substance at issue.

Second, the defendant must have known, or reasonably should have known, that the substance he or she was carrying is actually illegal. Thus, if a husband hands his wife some medication that she believes he has a prescription for, when in fact he obtained the drug illegally, she would probably not be charged with possession because she believed the drug was legal. In reality, a defense that someone did not know the substance was illegal is often difficult to prove, for individuals are assumed to have a reasonable knowledge and understanding about drugs and substances in their possession.

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Possession applies equally to both actual and constructive possession of an illegal substance. Actual possession applies to those individuals who are physically in control of the drugs at the time of discovery, such as someone who has drugs in his or her pocket.

Constructive possession means that the individual has control over and access to the drugs, even if he or she may not be holding onto them at the time of arrest. For instance, a man who keeps drugs in a cabinet in his home is still liable for drug possession.

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The crime of drug possession also extends to items beyond the drugs themselves, including precursor chemicals used to make drugs and drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia typically includes items like syringes, pipes, or bongs. Since these items may also be used for legal purposes, such as dispensing of legal medication or smoking tobacco, prosecution for possession of drug paraphernalia typically requires additional evidence to connect the item to drug use, such as residue left on a drug pipe.

Drug possession is criminalized under both state and federal laws, and it is typically broken down into two categories: simple possession and possession with intent to distribute. While simple possession is often a misdemeanor, possession with intent to distribute typically carries much harsher sentences.

However, other evidence of distribution may also be obtained, such as scales, plastic baggies, business cards, or statements from witnesses who received drugs from the defendant. Defendants charged with simple possession are typically subject only to fines and possible probation or rehabilitation programs. Sentencing for drug possession crimes has been under scrutiny in recent years for the high number of offenders sent to prison and rising prison populations.


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