If you are arrested for cocaine possession in Mississippi, you need to understand the laws that apply to your case. Basically, you risk a felony charge, but your sentence will be based on several different factors. Here’s what to expect.
The criminality of cocaine in Mississippi
Cocaine wasn’t always an illegal drug in Mississippi; it was used for medicinal purposes until the early 1900s. But as its recreational use increased, so did public concern and opposition to it. In 1914, Mississippi was one of the first states to pass a law criminalizing cocaine possession and sale.
Cocaine is now a Schedule II drug under Mississippi law. This means that it has a high potential for abuse but can be used for medical treatment under certain circumstances.
Possession of cocaine
Possession of cocaine is a felony in Mississippi. The maximum sentence for possession of cocaine is three years in prison and a $5000 fine. However, the actual sentence you receive will depend on the amount of cocaine you are caught with, as well as your criminal history.
Distribution of cocaine
If you are caught selling any amount of cocaine, you will be charged with a felony and face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The penalties can increase to 40 years of incarceration if you sell larger amounts of cocaine or vend to minors.
If you are facing a cocaine charge in Mississippi, there are a few possible defenses you or your criminal defense attorney could use to minimize your sentence or have it dismissed altogether:
- Your 4th amendment right protects you from unlawful search and seizure. So, if the arresting officer didn’t have probable cause or a warrant to search you or your property, any evidence found as a result of that search may be inadmissible in court.
- If the amount of cocaine seized is small and for personal use, you may be eligible for drug court, which is a diversion program that offers treatment and counseling instead of jail time.
- If you were entrapped by law enforcement, you might be able to get the charges against you dismissed.
You have rights as a resident of Mississippi that can protect you during criminalization. However, the outcome of your case mainly depends on your unique circumstances.