When is Drug Possession a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
Compared to a felony, a misdemeanor drug possession does not come along with as severe penalties. There are distinct differences between what makes up a felony or a misdemeanor for drug possession. That leads to the inevitable question of when is drug possession a misdemeanor or a felony? The Law Offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo, a Baltimore Criminal Defense Law Firm, breaks down the differences.
Answering The Question: When is Drug Possession a Misdemeanor or a Felony
Felony Drug Possession
When someone faces a felony drug possession conviction, it more than likely means they probably not only had the drug on their person but also had clear intent to distribute because of the large quantity found. The repercussions for felony drug possession can include a long-term prison sentence, a large fine, community service, probation, and completing a drug counseling program.
If someone is a repeat offender, they are likely to endure a longer sentence with even larger fines. A felony drug possession may include 1-3 years behind bars, with that length of time doubling or tripling for second or third-time offenders.
How Drugs are Classified
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States categorizes controlled substances by considering its potential for abuse, medical usage, dependence liability, and more. It is worth noting that not all drugs on the list are illegal, as there are exceptions for substances such as nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. The following factors are considered with classifying illegal drugs:
- Deviation of the drug from valid usage and channels
- Use of drug which strays from its original medical intention that is significant enough to make up as a hazard
- The potential of a drug being abused
- Use of drug which strays from doctor’s advice
State and Federal Penalties
Being charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug possession charge can result in severe penalties on both the federal and state level. The penalty enforced by the court varies based on the drug, quantity, intent of use, offender’s age, crime location, and criminal background. Because of a drug conviction having a negative impact on a person’s life and future, getting legal representation is crucial.
About The Law Offices of Nick Del Pizzo
At the Law Offices of Nick Del Pizzo, we make ourselves available for our clients in a variety of case types. Ranging from foreclosure, bankruptcy, personal injury or medical malpractice. Whatever your legal need is, we are there for you, seven days a week. Your case becomes our cause, and we will seek the best resolution possible.