Possession of Drugs: Sanctions and penalties

Possession of Drugs: Sanctions and penalties


Those who are convicted on charges of drug possession face a range of sanctions at the time of sentencing, which vary from state to state. The penalties for simple possession range from a fine of less than $100 or a few days in jail to thousands of dollars and several years in a state prison for the same crime. The sentences for simple possession of drugs tend to be the lightest, while intent to distribute drugs or the cultivation or manufacture of drugs can lead to fines much more important. The office of the prosecutor sometimes offers deals to defendants who can help you with a most important research and perhaps lead to the arrest of a leader of the organized crime.

In 1986, federal lawmakers enacted mandatory guidelines of minimum sentences for drug offences in an attempt to deter the distributors of the high-level, while these also carry over to the defendants by drug of a lower level. The majority of states has adopted a similar approach to the sentences for drugs. These fixed sentences are based on the type of drug, the weight of the drug and the number of prior convictions. Kentucky, which has adopted mandatory guidelines and similar mandatory minimum sentencing, it has some of the stricter provisions. For simple possession, first-time offenders in Kentucky serve 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. By contrast, California has some of the sentences more mild for possession of drugs: between $30 and $500 in fines or 15 to 180 days in prison.

Many states have established what are known as “drug court” programs for accused of serious crimes with drugs under the supervision of a judge, which aim to rehabilitate the defendant (usually repeat offenders) instead of taking the case to trial. Judges wield a lot of control over the operation of the drug courts. A defendant for drugs that accept to go to the drug court spends between 12 and 15 months attending treatment sessions and undergoing analysis random drug while you appear before the judge of the drug court on a regular basis. Those who do not appear before the court or do not pass the drug test are arrested and generally impose a short prison sentence.

Factors that influence penalties for drug possession (in addition to the mandatory minimum sentencing), which include the previous history of the accused, the amount and type of drug. Some states have decriminalized the possession of marijuana and turned it into a simple infraction (like a traffic ticket), while possession of crack and cocaine used to have the penalties more stringent in most states. Based on the standards of judgement of a state, judges have a certain degree of discretion and can impose sentences ranging from fines, community service hours and probation to long prison sentences. Consult a lawyer with experience in cases for possession of drugs for more information.

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