Depending upon the amount involved, cocaine possession charges can carry anywhere from a few months in jail to years or decades in prison. Thanks to mandatory minimum laws, the War on Drugs and other drug laws, even non-violent, first time offenders can be locked up for years. Fewer types of laws are more discriminating in both arrests and convictions than drug laws. If you’re facing cocaine possession or crack cocaine charges, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Don’t count on an overburdened public defender to get you off the hook for even a seemingly small amount of cocaine. You need a lawyer who is totally dedicated to your freedom and future.Cocaine Possession Conviction in Jackson
If convicted of cocaine possession in Jackson, you could be facing hefty fines, jail time and a record. In addition to completely uprooting your life, a criminal record can mean difficulty getting a job, renting a house or apartment and an inability to get credit. Depending upon the type of charges involved, you could also lose your voting rights.Misdemeanor and Felony Cocaine Possession
The amount of drugs you’re charged with being in possession of will usually determine the type of charges you’re facing. In the State of Mississippi, even relatively small amounts of cocaine can land offenders with felony charges. In an amount less than 0.1 grams or one dosage unit, the accused can be charged with felony or misdemeanor charges. Typically, if the amount in question is no more than what could be classed as ‘personal use,’ you’re probably facing misdemeanor charges. If you’re accused of having larger amounts, you could be facing felony drug charges. Also, additional chargesAdditional Charges Involved
- Intent to distribute
- Weapons charges
Perhaps not surprisingly, charges involving crack cocaine carry some of the heaviest penalties for drug charges across the country. In the 90’s, we were taught to fear the crack addict. He or she was a dangerous animal with almost super-human strength. It’s this type of propaganda and continued perpetuation of false information that feeds the idea of a dangerous crack addict. Instead of threatening these types of substance abusers and drug offenders like everybody else, we treat them like they’re Hannibal Lector, needing to be thrown behind bars for the safety of our otherwise safe society. Nothing could be further from the truth. These laws were specifically designed to disproportionately lock up socio-economically disadvantaged classes and poor people of color. Crack is not any more dangerous than cocaine, although the laws reflect a different story.The War on Drugs
The War on Drugs has been systematically implemented to lock up non-violet drug offenders in prison for extended periods of time. Even first time offenders can get locked up almost indefinitely thanks to outdated draconian laws. Even with the latest research, evidence and studies showing how detrimental the War on Drugs has been, not only for offenders and tax payers, but for society as a whole, we’re still locking people up for little more than a recreational habit or health-related addiction problem. The whole situation is compounded with a for-profit prison system and a variety of state and federal laws that ruin people’s lives for little more than a rough patch in their lives or a one-time mistake.Mandatory Minimum Laws
Mandatory minimum laws typically dictates, without regard of the situation, how long somebody should go to prison for certain types of drug charges. This means that the judge’s discretion is thrown out the window. There is no taking case details or the circumstances of your particular situation into consideration. If convicted, you will do the ‘mandatory minimum.’ This means that a strong defense is all the more important. The judge can’t just reduce your sentence because of certain circumstances. The penalties are essentially out of anybody’s hands.When to Call a Jackson Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’re facing cocaine possession charges in Jackson, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Depending upon the amount or type of cocaine you were arrested with, you could be facing an extensive period of time behind bars, not to mention the fines. Sadly, our criminal justice system treats non-violent drug offenders as criminals rather than approaching substance abuse as a societal health issue. First time and non-violent drug offenders don’t belong behind bars with murderers and rapists.
If you or somebody you love is facing cocaine or crack cocaine charges in Mississippi, contact the skilled criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a consultation today.