What to Do if You Have Been Charged With Drug Possession
In 2018, there were 1,654,282 drug law violation arrests in the United States. Although drug possession charges are some of the most common, they can also get severe. Therefore, you should know what to do if law enforcement charges you or a loved one with drug possession.
This article will focus on the penalties that you may face when charged with drug possession. It will also help you take the proper steps to have a better chance of getting your charges reduced or dismissed.
What are the Penalties for Drug Possession?
The punishments for drug possession depend on the type and quantity. Law enforcement will either charge you with a misdemeanor or felony.
Some other circumstances will also play a part in your charge, such as previous arrests. If you were at or near a school, the potential penalties would increase. The same would be true if you had a gun or weapon in your possession.
A felony charge would lead to severe repercussions. These include:
- a lengthy prison sentence
- permanent drug offender charge on record
- thousands of dollars in fines
- loss of visa/green card (for non-US citizens)
Of course, each case is different, and your circumstances will play a large part when authorities penalize you.
What to do When You Are Arrested?
Even if you are arrested for drug possession charges, try to stay calm. Be polite as the officers arrest you even if you are innocent. Remember not to say much to the police and that you are not convicted of anything yet.
At the police station, you should take advantage of your right to a phone call. Use it to call a defense lawyer. If you don’t know one, call a family member or friend who can find you one.
The sooner you can get a lawyer defending you and working on your case, the better.
What Happens After My Arrest?
After your arrest, police will process you at the station. Then, you will have an arraignment hearing. It is a court proceeding, and law enforcement will advise you of your rights.
At this time, you will be able to enter a plea. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
You should also request bail so that you can go home from prison. If the official grants it and you can pay, you will not have to spend more time in jail while waiting for a trial.
Lawyers Can Help You Make an Effective Defense
Since you are probably feeling shocked and uncertain about your future, the best thing you can do is hire a drug possession lawyer. They will be able to find the best defense strategy for you.
Keep in mind that the average jail time for drug possession is five years. However, with a proper defense, you should be able to get your charges lessened. In some cases, lawyers are even able to get the charges dropped altogether.
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