Drug related charges and punishments are taken seriously in Pearl. Before you or a loved one charged with a drug related crime panic, remember: the seasoned attorneys at Coxwell & Associates have been handling drug related cases for years. We believe that every Mississippi citizen accused of a drug charge should be equipped with knowledge about that accusation. We also believe our citizens should have a knowledgeable attorney who understands the emotional toll these charges take on their clients and their families.Knowledge
Pearl police officers determine the charges brought against you in a drug case based on the amount of the drug and the type that is found. Drug charges are separated into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies.So what’s the difference between a misdemeanor drug charge and a felony drug charge?
(1) The amount of drugs found by the Pearl police and (2) the amount of time you would receive and the amount fines you would have to pay if you are convicted.Misdemeanor Drug Charges:
Amount: Misdemeanor drug charges are usually brought when whatever drug is found is an amount that would typically be for personal use. Examples of what might constitute a misdemeanor drug offense are marijuana under 30 grams and (sometimes) less than .1 grams of ecstasy, crystal meth, or cocaine. Possession of drug paraphernalia- a device or some method someone has for using the drugs- is always a misdemeanor charge.
Sentence and Fine: The punishment for a misdemeanor drug charge can be up to six (6) months in jail. You or a loved one could also be compelled to pay a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).Felony Drug Charges:
Amount: Again, this amount can vary depending on the arresting officer. One of Pearl’s six (6) patrolmen or two (2) narcotics officers decide what they found was not intended for personal use, then they could very well charge you or a loved one with a felony offense. Please be aware that you could be charged with felony marijuana possession for anything over .30 grams of marijuana or anything over (sometimes under) .1 grams of ecstasy, crystal meth, or cocaine. As you can tell, drug offenses are a complicated issue.
Process: One thing that distinguishes felony drug crimes and misdemeanor drug crimes is that a grand jury from the county where you have been charged (Rankin County) must issue an indictment. An indictment is NOT a conviction against you and the grand jury is NOT deciding whether you are guilty or innocent. An indictment is just a formal charge against you. Nothing more than that. The reason for the indictment in felony cases is so the prosecution can stress the severity of that crime in comparison to the misdemeanor crimes. An indictment also serves to protect an accused person like our clients. The grand jury essentially allows the charge to be issued against you ONLY IF they find that there is probable cause for the charge. You are not required to be present at these grand jury hearings.
Sentence and Fine: If convicted of a felony drug charge, you could face over a year in jail and in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000) in fines. Unfortunately, there is also a stigma that attaches to individuals convicted of felony drug charges. A felony conviction can hurt your professional career or your ability to vote.
As you can tell, drug offenses are a complicated issue. That’s why it is important to hire an attorney you can trust and one that knows the laws in Pearl & Rankin County. Please contact our experienced attorneys at 601-948-1600 for a free consultation about your drug charges.