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June 20, 2016

Can I Really Go to Jail for Possession of Marijuana?

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Although medical marijuana is legal in twenty-four states, recreational marijuana is legal in four states and the state of Mississippi has decriminalized some aspects of marijuana possession, but you could still end up behind bars for possession of marijuana, in some instances.

In Mississippi, if you are found with 30 grams or less of marijuana in your possession, and it is your first offense, you face nothing more serious than a fine of $250. In order to only receive the fine, you must show a valid ID, and sign a pledge to appear in court. Follow the rules, and you will not be arrested.

Beyond this laid back approach to a first offense of possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana, the penalties become much more serious, including:

  • For a second offense possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 days in jail—with a maximum possible of up to 60 days. Your fine will remain the same--$250.
  • For a third offense possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, the fine increases to $500, and the jail time is the same as for a second offense—a mandatory minimum of five days, up to a maximum sentence of 60 days behind bars.
  • For larger amounts of marijuana possession, the jail time and fines increase sharply. For possession of 30-250 grams of marijuana, you will face felony charges, up to three years in prison, and fines as high as $3,000.
  • For possession of 250-500 grams of marijuana, you will face felony charges, a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison, with a maximum possible of 8 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
  • For possession of 500-5k grams, you could face felony charges with a mandatory minimum of six years in prison, to a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Tagged: Dangerous Drugs, Drug Arrest

May 27, 2016

Misdemeanor Versus Felony Drug Arrests

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Tagged: Criminal Law, Drug Arrest

May 27, 2016

Drug Bust in South Jackson

Tagged: Criminal Law, Drug Arrest

May 23, 2016

Difference Between Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession in Mississippi

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In the state of Mississippi—as in most states—the primary differences between drug possession charges and drug trafficking charges is the amount of the illegal substance in your possession, as well as whether you crossed a state line with the substance in yourpossession. The next major difference between the two charges is the severity of the penalties.

A drug trafficking conviction can have severe enough penalties to completely alter the course of your life. A more specific comparison of the two charges includes:

  • Drug Possession—You can be charged with drug possession if you have, on your person or in close proximity, an illicit substance. If you are caught using an illegal drug you could be charged with possession, or if the drugs are in your possession or in a place you could reasonably be expected to have access to (the glove box of your car, under the bed in your home), you could be charged with possession. Penalties for drug possession are likely to be much lighter, than for drug trafficking, with fines, rehabilitation programs and potentially a jail sentence.
  • Drug Trafficking—The crime of selling or illegally transporting illegal substances across state or national lines could result in drug trafficking charges, or, in some instances, simply having a large amount of illegal drugs in your possession could result in drug trafficking charges. Most people believe they cannot be charged with trafficking unless they cross a state line, however this is not always the case. Possession of a controlled substance can become a trafficking charge if the drugs weigh enough.

 

Mississippi Penalties for Trafficking in Cocaine

Using cocaine as an example, a conviction for trafficking in cocaine requires having more than 30 grams in your possession, having three or more selling offenses in a 12-month period, or having 30 grams of cocaine to sell. Prior convictions cannot be used to establish trafficking, due to double jeopardy. If you are found guilty of trafficking cocaine, you could receive life in prison without suspension or parole; the mandatory minimum is ten years. Fines for a conviction of trafficking in cocaine could be from $5,000 to $1,000,000. The only help offered to a person being charged with drug trafficking in the state of Mississippi, is for those who act as informants, and help “take down” an entire drug ring.

Mississippi Penalties for Possession of Cocaine

In contrast, the penalties for possession of cocaine in Mississippi are as follows:

  • Possession of less than 0.1 grams of cocaine is a misdemeanor, with penalties of less than a year in jail and a fine as large as $1,000.
  • Possession of 0.1 to 2 grams of cocaine is a felony, with penalties of no more than three years in jail and a fine as large as $50,000.
  • Possession of 2-10 grams of cocaine is a felony, with penalties of up to 8 years in prison, and a fine as large as $250,000.
  • Possession of 10-30 grams of cocaine is a felony, with penalties of 3-20 years in prison, and a fine as large as $500,000.

Mississippi Lawmakers Attempt to Define Drug Trafficking

In the state of Mississippi in 2014, lawmakers struggled with the actual definition of a drug trafficker. During debate over the issue, an amendment was offered which would set a 500-gram minimum before a person could be charged with drug trafficking (rather than 30 grams). This would have made Mississippi state law more closely align with federal trafficking laws.

Contact Our Jackson Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with a drug crime in the state of Mississippi, you could potentially be in serious, long-term trouble. It is important that you contact an experienced Mississippi drug crime attorney as soon as possible in order to determine what your options are, and to have a strong legal professional looking out for your rights.

Tagged: Criminal Law, Drug Arrest

May 20, 2016

What To Do After Getting Arrested For Possession

Tagged: Criminal Law, Drug Arrest, drug offenses

May 20, 2016

Drug Bust in Jackson

Tagged: Criminal Law, Drug Arrest

June 18, 2015

Drug Possession Charges in Jackson


Earlier this week, 27-year-old Christopher Sheriff was charged with drug possession and intent to distribute in Jackson. According to WJTV News Channel 12, police officers allegedly found an estimated $15,000 worth of marijuana, crack cocaine and powder cocaine in his home.

Tagged: Criminal Law, Drug Arrest

June 04, 2015

Three Arrested For Meth in Florence


Earlier this week, three people were arrested on drug charges in Florence. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 18-year-old Monica Barron, 30-year-old Hughey Fikes and 44-year-old Chester Smith III were charged with sale of a controlled substance and the conspiracy to sell a controlled substance. Very few details have been released about the arrests, but we do know that both meth and marijuana were involved.

Tagged: Drug Arrest

May 28, 2015

Drug Conspiracy Indictment in Harrison County

A man from Gulfport is currently awaiting trial on federal drug conspiracy charges in Harrison County. According to WAPT News Channel 16, 42-year-old Omar Dancer is being charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilos of cocaine and one kilo of heroin. Very few details about his case and arrest have been released, but we do know that a grand jury indicted him for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute. He currently being held in jail in Hancock County and is awaiting his January trial.

Tagged: Drug Arrest

May 07, 2015

Vicksburg Marijuana Arrest

A woman in Vicksburg is now facing drug charges after a search and subsequent arrest by the Vicksburg Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 33-year-old LaToya Mitchell has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Very few details have been released, but she was allegedly found to have two pounds of marijuana in her possession.

Tagged: Criminal Law, Drug Arrest