Drug charges in Mississippi often come with extenuating circumstances that result in enhanced charges. Firearms possession at the time of arrest is one of those extenuating circumstances, especially when the weapons are illegal on any level. Those who have guns in their possession when arrested or in the commission of a drug transfer can get more severe sentences. Additionally, fines can be enhanced or ordered with additional gun charges.
Double punishment law
Mississippi code 41-29-152 refers to how charges can be enhanced in drug cases. Any criminal defense will be focused on classification under these statutes. It allows for those who are arrested for drug charges pursuant to these laws to be charged with double maximum penalties following a drug charge arrest.
Additional potential charges
It is not necessary for any firearms to be unregistered when they are in possession at the time of arrest, especially if they were used in drug trafficking activity. Even possession of a registered gun can result in enhanced drug charge sentencing requests upon conviction. Additionally, convicted felons can face other criminal charges due to possession of a firearm by a felon. The statute also includes possession of a starter pistol because it can be modified to shoot live ammunition. A criminal defense argument will need to take this into account.
Anyone who is accused of participating in drug activity in Mississippi should understand this definitive criminal charge enhancement within the state. Law enforcement officials are very serious about prosecuting drug crimes to the fullest extent of the law, and many prosecutors have no issue with requesting double penalties when firearms are part of the contraband that is confiscated.