Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, opiates, and methamphetamine are classified as schedule 1 or 2 controlled substances and carry significant penalties. Felony possession in Mississippi means to sell, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribute, dispense or possess with intent to sell, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribute, or dispense. In the case of schedule 1 or 2 drugs, the punishment is up to 30 years in prison and a fine of not less than $5,000 up to $1 million.
It doesn’t take much to be charged with felony possession when it comes to hard drugs such as cocaine. Possession of one-tenth of a gram may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, and if it’s a felony the punishment is from 1-4 years. Two to ten grams possession is punishable from 2-8 years, ten but less than 30 grams is 6-24 years, and 30 grams or more is 10-30 years. Also the police will look at how the drugs were packaged, like if they were in smaller, individually-wrapped bags. This is a strong indicator of possession with intent to sell or distribute. But if there’s a small amount, there’s a good argument to be made that the possession was for personal use and should be treated as a misdemeanor. You should talk to a Southaven drug crimes lawyer more about this.
Felony marijuana possession is also very serious. Possession of more than 30 grams is a felony and is punishable up to 20 years and a $30,000 fine. Again, it’s going to depend on how much marijuana is at issue, and whether the facts indicate that it was possession with intent to sell or deliver, or possession simply for personal use.
With such significant penalties, being charged with felony possession in Mississippi is going to require a skilled criminal attorney on your side. You may be able to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor is it’s a small amount and you don’t have a prior record. But if you can’t get it reduced to a misdemeanor you’re going to have to explore other defenses. This could be arguing that the drugs were not yours, or having the evidence suppressed on legal grounds such as an illegal search or seizure.
Patrick Stegall is a Southaven felony drug possession lawyer. He handles drug crimes of all types throughout North Mississippi, and specializes in helping first-time offenders keep a clean record. For more information, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (901) 205-9894.