criminal law
Greg Prosmushkin
Aug 20, 2021

Drug Possession Charges by State: Understanding the Consequences

Possessing illegal substances and drugs such as cocaine and fentanyl is a crime that will negatively impact your life if caught. Individuals caught possessing illicit drugs may be arrested and end up in jail, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Drug possession cases are serious, and you should take the necessary steps to handle them properly. If you are arrested for drug possession, you should avoid saying anything that might be used against you. 

The possession of controlled substances can lead to jail time or hefty fines. There will be additional charges if an individual is found responsible for manufacturing the drugs or driving while intoxicated. 

The punishment for drug-related crimes can range from one year to living in prison. The sentence and discipline for your crime often depend on the amount of controlled substance you possessed at the time of the arrest.

Large quantities of illegal substances are often viewed by the government as evidence of an intent to distribute, a separate crime that can carry additional penalties. In serious cases, you may have to spend years in jail and pay penalties worth millions. Getting arrested for drug possession can impact your life personally and professionally. 

You may be restricted from visiting certain places and working in various industries. A drug arrest record can disrupt every aspect of your life. Therefore, it is important to hire an attorney if you are charged with drug possession or related charges. Here, we list some things you can do and what to avoid if you have been accused of or arrested for drug possession. 

  1. Be calm and stay polite – The key to handling such situations is to stay calm and be polite to the police officers investigating the crime. There is no point in shouting at the officials as this may build up the case against you. You may be nervous and struggle personally in these situations. Drug possession is a serious matter. It is important not to say anything that can be used against you. Anything you say to the police can be used against you if the state decides to prosecute you. You have the right to be represented during any police questions.
  2. Collect evidence for your case – If you feel you have been falsely accused, you must collect evidence to prove your case. There is a chance that someone else could have tried to frame you for this, or the drug was placed in your possession without your knowledge. Several reasons explain the situation, but you should have evidence to prove your case. The law demands proof, and you should have significant evidence on your side. You can receive legal assistance from a Philadelphia criminal lawyer to gather the evidence for your case. 
  3. Avoid saying anything incriminating – The cops and other concerned authorities will ask several questions. You should avoid saying anything until you have a lawyer present to protect you from saying anything incriminating. You do not have to answer anything without your attorney present. Legal professionals have an understanding of the law and handle such cases almost every day. They will review your situation and help you understand what you should say and avoid. Any statement can impact your case. If you have been arrested or charged for drug possession, your first request should be for a lawyer. 
  4. Do not put anything in writing – Any written document can be used as legal evidence in a court of law. Reducing the charges and sentence afterward will be challenging if you put anything in writing or accept responsibility for the situation. Avoid saying or signing anything until a lawyer is there to represent you. Before taking any step, one must consult a professional for guidance and assistance in such critical matters.
  5. Request for bail – Staying in jail can impact you and your reputation. With the help of a professional, you can consider requesting bail. Denial or approval of bail entirely depends on the judge’s decision. However, you can at least take these steps to save yourself.
  6. Call a skilled lawyer with a solid reputation- Drug possession is not an easy crime to escape. You could face court proceedings for months or years if you have been arrested for drug possession. You can consult a legal professional as soon as possible to prevent the risk of being jailed for an extended time. When you are charged with drug possession, you should immediately seek a professional to represent you. Look for someone experienced and well-versed in handling cases related to drug possession and similar crimes. 

Criminal law is not limited to drug possession and distribution. It can involve various other things, such as property crimes, assault, identity theft, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to consult someone experienced in handling drug-related specifically.

You can search online or ask friends and family to share references. Additionally, you should keep the above things in mind while fighting a drug possession crime. A lawyer may help you get rid of the charge or even reduce the sentence.