Drug possession is the crime of having illegal drugs in one’s possession. The possession of these drugs may be for personal use, sale, or distribution. Being charged with drug possession is a serious crime that can affect the rest of your life if convicted.The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense lawyers are experienced and highly knowledgeable in the laws regarding drug possession. If you have been charged with this crime, it is in your best interests to be sure you have these aggressive and resourceful lawyers on your side.Illegal drugs fall into many different categories. The type of drug, the amount of the drug, the jurisdiction, and the circumstances surrounding your charges all relate to how your individual drug possession charges may be handled. In the United States, penalties for drug possession can range from a small fine and probation to a lengthy prison sentence.For example, in some states the possession of marijuana is considered a petty offense with the consequences being no stronger than if you had received a ticket for speeding. Typically though, drug possession is an offense you will be arrested for at the time of discovery even if no jail time is served. This offense is less severe than that of drug sales.

Federal and State Laws

Federal and state drug possession laws state that it is a criminal act to willfully possess any illegal controlled substance. This includes:

  • Marijuana
  • “Club drugs” such as Ecstasy and GHB
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Opium
  • Heroin

The same laws also state that it is criminal to possess “precursor” chemicals. These are the base chemicals used in the manufacture of illegal drugs. Drug paraphernalia (accessories) such as rolling papers, pipes, syringes, and may also be criminal to possess.

There may also be differentiation between the possession of small amounts that are likely to be consumed for personal use and large amounts which are presumed “possession with the intent to distribute”. When the offender is caught with a large amount of any illegal substance, it is presumed that there is intent to sell. The larger the quantity of drug in possession, the more likely an enhanced sentence with harsher penalties will be handed down. Repeat offenders are also prosecuted with more severe penalties than first time offenders. Another factor that may determine a harsher sentence is drug possession within close proximity to day cares, schools, universities and housing projects.

If you have been charged with drug possession at any level, you must have legal representation that knows the federal and state laws regarding your charges. Don’t trust your freedom and rights to just any drug defense lawyer. Please call or email The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense attorneys today. Our Virginia and Maryland drug lawyers are here to assist you as well.