Cocaine is one of the most popular illegal drugs in the world. As a stimulant, it creates a feeling of happiness and energy that many people crave. Like the famous potato chip, many people find that once they “pop” and try cocaine even once, they just can’t stop. Though the high is incredibly short, you will quickly find yourself craving the next “bump” or “line” and many cocaine addicts begin to carry around some with them at all times to make that next hit possible. This is why so very many people are arrested on possession of a small amount of cocaine every year. As we all know from reading the news, not even celebrities are immune to it. Anyone who goes out into the world with a few extra “bumps” or “lines” worth of cocaine in their pocket for a pick-me-up later is putting themselves at serious risk.
All Cocaine Possession Is a Felony
If you have been arrested because police found a very small amount of cocaine on your person, you may be wondering just how serious the charge really is. After all, you may think: It was only a few little sprinkles of white powder, barely a taste. It’s all too easy to think that because your drug use is low because you are in control of yourself, or that a small quantity on your person will safe you from the severe consequences of a real drug conviction. Unfortunately, we’re here to tell you that cocaine does not adhere to the same understanding and incrementation of punishment that, say, marijuana is. A tiny amount of cannabis will result in a large fine and a slap on the wrist but even a small amount of cocaine, no matter how minuscule, is automatically a felony.
Cocaine possession of any amount starts at a Fifth-degree felony and only scales up from there. We’ll show you how this works and give you a better perspective on the potential consequences you face.
Zero to Three Grams
The very first level of charge for cocaine possession is a fifth-degree felony. Any amount, even just a few sprinkles lost in your car, constitutes as possessing a drug of the highest order of illegality. Cocaine is considered a national Schedule 1 drug, meaning it is among the worst along with Heroin and Methamphetamine. This means that there is no misdemeanor option. If you are going to be convicted, there is no chance of lowering your sentence to anything below a fifth-degree felony.
The first legal designation for possession lies somewhere between zero cocaine and 3 grams.\. If you have even a single mg of cocaine on your person, in your car, or near you when the police do a search you can and most likely will be arrested for possession. The vast majority of people arrested for a small amount of personal cocaine will wind up in this category because, in the cocaine world, 3g is a lot unless you’re throwing wild parties or are caught stocking up.
Consequences of Fifth Degree Felony
When you are charged for having a trace amount of cocaine on your person or in your car, the charge with be a fifth-degree felony. This comes with a specific set of penalties and the judge will choose how hefty the consequences need to be. Jail time ranges between 0 and 5 years behind bars, but don’t get excited. When the court decides to waive jail time, they almost always increase the fine amount and require you to become part of an active drug recovery program. The fines for minimal cocaine possession can go as high as 10,000 dollars through the court is free to decide on any amount between zero and the cap.
Becoming a Felon
Of course, no matter how light you get off or how heavily the court throws the book at you, being convicted of any amount of cocaine possession will make you a felon. This comes with certain consequences out in the real world including a much harder time finding jobs, renting homes, and you will never be able to vote or own a gun again.
If you have been charged in St Paul with cocaine possession or are afraid you might be, it’s time to get in touch with an experienced St Paul drug crimes lawyer. With the help of an expert, you can carefully build your defense case and give yourself the best possible chance of not becoming a felon, paying thousands of dollars, and losing years of your life in prison. For more information or a consultation on your personal circumstances, contact us today.