How Can Drug Possession Charges Receive Federal Penalties?

Various individuals can face various drug charges which may vary from each state or every mitigating instance. The sentences for possession charges can vary from a $100 fine with a few days in jail to hundred of thousands of dollars with several years of prison time.

The penalties for easy drug possession charges are the lightest in terms of other sentences. There will be instances when the prosecutor can offer a plea deal to the defense team, especially if it can help them solve an investigation or a priority case.

A prosecutor may offer a plea deal to the defendant who might be able to aid them during a higher-priority case or investigation. If a defendant is in a position to assist the prosecution in arresting a drug ring leader, a plea deal is going to be offered to the defense.

The penalties for drug possession charges may differ supported various factors and state where the case was filed or where the defendant was arrested. Defendants are urged to figure alongside an experienced defense attorney to help the case and have a much better chance of getting it dropped. If dropping the charge is impossible, the goal is to have a lenient conviction.

Drug Possession Charges State vs Federal Penalties

Federal legislators enacted the minimum sentencing guidelines that overrule drug offenses since 1986. The enactment was made in an attempt by the lawmakers to allow the law enforcers to specialize in high-level distributors and drug ring leaders. 

The sentence can be related to the quantity of the drugs, and the individual’s previous convictions. The difference is how strict or lenient are the minimum sentencing guidelines being enforced in a state. There are different conditions that may aggravate a drug charge in every state. One possession charge within one state may lead first-time offenders to have two to 10 years in prison and a fine reaching up to $20,000. 

Meanwhile, California also follows the minimum sentencing guidelines by the federal legislation but the state is among the foremost lenient jurisdictions when it involves drug possession sentences. The jail time for first-time offenders is often 15 to 180 days in prison and a fine of $100 to $500.

State Drug Possession Laws

However, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is mostly focused on interstate cases and the bigger drug trafficking cases. Drug possession charges can be dealt with by the state laws which the governing jurisdiction may face.

Specialized Drug Courts

Multiple states have established drug courts that have systems that are only focused on felony drug defendants which are often overseen by the judge.  The objective of this specialized court is to help the defendant to get sober. It is for the defendant’s rehabilitation rather than immediately requiring a court trial. Judges have substantial control over the operations and mandates of the drug courts. If a defendant agrees to get on a drug court, the individual would sign up for 12 months. Defendants agreeing to undergo drug court but didn’t go through it or even tested positive for substance use while in the program will be arrested.

Aside from some minimum sentencing guidelines, there are multiple factors that can have an effect on the outcome of the charges. When the court has started preparing for the sentence, the judge will check if there are any mitigating situations within the case. These instances may involve the defendant’s past records, which incorporates the kind of drug around which the case revolves around.

Many jurisdictions would pass on a harsher sentence for convictions if the case happened near the school grounds. this may be considered as an aggravating instance in this case. The sentence is often lighter if the defendant is just aiding an abusive partner with regards to the drug trade operation. The defendant may get a lighter charge depending on the other instances in the court.

PWID Convictions

Convictions and penalties related to possession with intent to deliver charge often vary on the sort of substance involved within the case. The conviction for marijuana or LSD may reach up to five years in prison with up to a $15,000 fine. A PWID conviction for heroin constitutes 15 years in prison with a $250,000 fine.

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