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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.
Little Tolerance for Marijuana in the State of Mississippi
In other words, the state of Mississippi tolerates only very minimal amounts of marijuana in one’s possession, then serious prison time and fines kick in. There is even less tolerance in the state of Mississippi for sales of marijuana. Selling less than one ounce of marijuana is a felony, resulting in up to three years in jail, and a fine as high as $3,000, and the penalties go up sharply from there.
Marijuana Use While Driving
Marijuana remains a Schedule I substance in Mississippi, meaning it has no recognized medicinal value, and a high potential for abuse, plus if you are caught driving under the influence of marijuana you could face serious penalties as well.
Unlike alcohol, where a 0.08 BAC is required to declare you legally inebriated, any amount of marijuana in your blood or urine will establish you were under the influence while driving. If you are convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana in Mississippi, you could face fines between $250 and $1,000, as well as up to 48 hours in jail—or both.
In lieu of jail time a judge could sentence you to participate in a victim impact panel program. You will also face a minimum of 90 days’ driver’s license suspension as well as mandatory participation in an alcohol safety education program. A second conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana is much more serious, with fines between $600 and $1,500, between five days and one year in jail and from ten days to a year of community service work. You will also face a driver’s license suspension of two years.
Contact Our Jackson Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with marijuana possession in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, it is important that you take those charges very seriously. The best thing you can do in the present, which can significantly alter the outcome of your charges and thus your future, is to contact an experienced Mississippi drug lawyer as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.