Possession of cocaine in any form is illegal in most parts of the world. The United States is not an exception, and the possession of cocaine powder and rock or crack cocaine is illegal.
Cocaine possession is considered a drug crime. Depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with:
- Cocaine possession
- Cocaine possession with intent to sell
- Cocaine trafficking
These are different charges with different punishments. What you are charged with depends on the amount of cocaine found. If you are arrested in possession of larger amounts of cocaine, you could be charged with intent to sell or trafficking. The threshold amounts for these charges vary according to state laws.
Cocaine laws exist at the state and federal level, and cocaine charges can be brought at either. Which drug laws apply to you depends upon the jurisdiction in which you were arrested and whether you are charged by state or federal authorities.
Keep in mind that you can be charged with cocaine possession even if cocaine is not in your hands or in your pockets. If cocaine is found in your car, in your home or in a purse or bag, or is “under your control” you can be charged with cocaine possession.
Also, multiple people can be in possession of the same cocaine. So if people bring cocaine into your home or car, then you could be charged with a drug crime even if the cocaine “wasn’t yours.”
Cocaine laws in some states mandate that even simple cocaine possession can be charged as a felony. In other instances it is considered a misdemeanor at the lowest quantities.
Cocaine Possession Penalties
Penalties for cocaine possession vary according to the charge. In states where simple possession is considered a felony the penalties are harsher and may include prison time and fines. In other states, simple possession may result in mandatory drug treatment programs and fines, and even jail time.
The more serious crimes of possession with intent to sell and cocaine trafficking carry some very harsh penalties. As with marijuana possession, convictions for these drug crimes often carry mandatory minimum sentencing at the state and federal level.
Mandatory minimum sentencing means that if you are convicted the judge hands down an automatic sentence, regardless of your previous criminal record. This means that even a first offense can result in a decade-long jail sentence – or more!
Cocaine Possession Charges? Protect Your Rights with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
A cocaine possession or trafficking arrest is serious business. Depending on the amount of cocaine and your drug charge, you could be facing 20 years in prison.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime you still have rights. Protect your rights by speaking with a criminal defense lawyer.
A criminal defense lawyer can get you the information you need to during this turbulent time. To properly defend your case, there might be paperwork that needs to be filed or evidence to review. A lawyer can help you hit important deadlines and help you avoid costly mistakes.
Can you afford to leave your future hanging in the balance? Let a defense lawyer help you.
To speak with a criminal defense attorney near you, simply fill out the free case evaluation form on this page or call, toll free, 847-445-1059.