With a sufficient quantity of one or more illicit substances, the person may even have charges of intent to distribute in addition to possession. The possibility that harm to someone or others through your actions may arise because of drug possession is one of the reasons it is illegal. Possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs is prohibited by federal law. There are strict penalties for drug convictions, including mandatory prison sentences for many crimes.
The following information, although not complete, is a summary of federal penalties for first convictions. All penalties are doubled for any subsequent drug convictions. Drug laws and drug-related offenses have received a lot of attention in the past decade. Laws in every state and at the federal level prohibit the possession, manufacture, and sale of certain controlled substances, including drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin.
Prosecutors argued that drug possession was a tax violation, since there were no legal licenses to sell drugs; therefore, a person who possessed drugs should have purchased them from an unlicensed source. The crime of possession of a controlled substance occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally has control of a drug. However, the prosecution does not have to prove that the defendant knew that the drugs were controlled or that possession in this circumstance was illegal. For more information on laws and penalties associated with drug use and possession, as well as specific state drug possession laws, see Drug Possession Laws & Drug Charges.
For example, it may be legal to possess amphetamines if a doctor has prescribed them; otherwise, possession or sale of the drug is usually a criminal offense. Illegal possession of a controlled substance occurs when a person possesses or possesses a drug or other controlled substance, without legal justification or permission. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a drug-related crime, such as possession of a controlled substance, there are steps you can take now to understand the situation and protect your legal rights. In these situations, it's common for police to find drugs in the car and charge the driver with possession.
In 1973, New York introduced mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life in prison for possession of more than 113 grams (4 oz) of the so-called hard drug, called the Rockefeller drug laws in honor of the governor of New York and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. People convicted of drug possession under state or federal law are not eligible to receive federal student grants and loans or to participate in federally sponsored research grants or contracts until one year after the first conviction and up to five years after the second conviction; the penalty for distributing drugs is loss of benefits for five years after the first conviction, 10 years after the second and permanently after the third. To convict someone of illegal possession of a controlled substance, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knowingly possessed the drug. Because some analysts consider drug possession to be a victimless crime, since it can be committed in private, enforcement of prohibitionist laws requires law enforcement methods to inspect private property.
At the same time, authorities have often restricted the possession and trade of drugs for a variety of political and religious reasons. Federal convictions for drug possession can result in denial of federal benefits for up to one year for the first conviction and up to five years for subsequent convictions. The severity of the penalty depends on several factors, such as the specific type of drug involved, the circumstances surrounding the possession, and the criminal history of the person who possesses the drugs. .