Jackson, Mississippi, Drug Crimes Attorney
We can defend you if you have been charged with drug possession, manufacturing, possession for sale, cultivation, delivery, trafficking or prescription fraud.
If you’ve been accused of a drug crime in Mississippi, then the crime could be a state crime, a federal crime or both. Both the federal and state drug enforcement policies are very harsh.
Definition Of Controlled Substances
Most states follow the federal definitions of “controlled substances.” Under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), controlled substances are classified into five schedules based on their abuse and addiction potential offset by any medicinal value. The most severe penalties are attached to Schedule 1 drugs and the least severe concern Schedule 5 drugs.
Examples of Schedule 1 drugs are heroin and LSD; Schedule 2 drugs, cocaine and marijuana; Schedule 3, anabolic steroids and morphine; Schedule 4, Xanax and Valium; and Schedule 5, some cough suppressants containing small amounts of codeine.
Possession of any quantities of Schedule 1 drugs is a felony. Possession of very small quantities of Schedule 2 drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana or ecstasy, is commonly classified as a misdemeanor, which may result in a fine and a small prison sentence. If you are found with more than very small amounts, however, possession can swiftly turn into a felony with all the consequences that follow.
Types Of Drug Offenses
A defendant can be accused of different types of drug offenses, ranging from possession of narcotics such as marijuana or cocaine to drug trafficking heroin, cocaine and other drugs – including possession with intent to deliver to someone else – to manufacturing drugs by growing marijuana or creating a meth lab.
You can also be charged if you are in possession of paraphernalia deemed to be utilized for the use, trafficking or manufacture of illegal drugs. Paraphernalia includes pipes, plastic bags for containing cocaine powder, hypodermic syringes and seedbeds for your marijuana plants.
A significant number of drug offenses are covered by federal jurisdiction. You could be charged under federal law if you are arrested for the use of an illegal drug when on federal property such as a national park, or, if the drug crime crosses state boundaries, then the crime becomes a federal offense, as well.
Since 1986, the federal government has also taken the lead in introducing minimum sentences for drug offenses, which was followed by many states, including Mississippi.
It is partly this change that has rocketed federal prison populations from 40,000 in 1986 to 150,000 now, with almost exactly half being imprisoned on drug offenses. While there are many more convicted drug offenders in state prisons today – around 500,000 – they still only form around 25% of the prison population.
Drug Offense Convictions
If you are convicted of a drug offense, this may result in imprisonment, heavy fines, probation with compulsory drug testing, mandatory rehabilitation and a criminal record, often as a felon. The severity of the punishment depends on a number of factors, including:
- The type of drug used in the offense
- Whether you have a previous criminal record
- Whether the crime involved other criminal behavior, such as the use of a gun
- The sentencing policies of the state or federal court in which you are tried
- The personal views of law enforcement officials, judges and juries
If you are arrested for a drug crime, the most important thing to remember is that you do not say anything until you have spoken to your attorney.
Call us now at 601-355-8775.