Drug Possession Charges: Frequently Asked Questions
If you have been charged with drug possession, there are a few important things that you should know. Particularly if it is your drug possession charge, make sure you take the time to understand the crime of which you are being accused, what will happen as your case progresses, and what the potential outcomes of your trial could be. Being prepared will help ease the stress of the criminal justice system. By far your best resource for learning about drug possession crimes, specifically, and criminal law, generally, is an experienced criminal defense attorney. In the meantime, however, here are a few frequently asked questions and answers that may help you understand the charges you are facing.
- What is a drug possession? Drug possession is a crime. You may be charged with drug possession if a police officer finds illegal drugs on your person. You may also be charged with drug possession if a police officer finds drugs somewhere else but he or she can show they belong to you anyway. Commonly, these drugs may be found in your car, home, or belongings. You can be arrested for having a wide variety of drugs, including marijuana and prescription drugs that you have obtained illegally. If you were caught with a small amount of drugs, you will likely face a misdemeanor charge. If, however, you were caught with a relatively large amount of drugs, if the drugs are considered more dangerous than other drugs, or if this is not your first offense, you may be charged with a felony.
- What are will happen after I am charged? After you are formally charged with a crime, you will face a trial where the prosecution must prove a case against you. In most states, the prosecution must prove that (1) you knew the drug was a controlled substance, (2) that you possessed it. The second element of “possession” is relatively easy to prove if the drugs were found on your body or in your personal bag, but may be harder for the prosecution to prove if the drugs were found in your car or home. You will get an opportunity to talk to a judge or a jury about your crime and raise defenses against the charges. After the trial, if you are found guilty, the court will issue you a sentence.
- What kind of sentence could I get? If your possession charge is a misdemeanor, you will likely receive only a fine, potential loss of your driver’s license and potentially a short jail sentence of six months or less. If your drug possession charge is a felony, you may receive several years in prison, hefty fines, and perhaps permanent loss of your driver’s license .
Remember, if you are facing drug possession charges, the first thing you should consider is retaining a criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf. Make sure you choose drug possession lawyers Bloomington, IL trusts who have experience defending clients against drug possession charges, and who will be able to help you navigate the criminal and drug court system. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can always request that a public defender be appointed to you.
Thank you to our contributors at the law office of Pioletti & Pioletti for the above information.