Drug-Related Offenses Can Be Misdemeanor or Felony Charges

Interviewer: With possession cases, how much marijuana must one have in order for them to receive a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge?

Court: The way that the statutes are broken up is there are quantities that are relevant for some of the drugs. For instance if you have marijuana, if you have a certain amount, a small amount I’m going to say under an ounce but that’s a guess but I’m not sure of that looking at the statute, but if it’s a small amount then it will be just maybe a class B misdemeanor.

If you have a larger quantity, it can be a greater offence; there are some breakdowns with regards to that and each drug has its own amounts. For marijuana it might be an ounce; if you had an ounce of cocaine that would be really serious since it’s a more potent and more serious drug.

Interviewer:  If someone gets caught with cocaine will it be automatically be a felony?

Cocaine Possession Is Always Charged as a Felony

Court: Cocaine possession is a felony no matter what the quantity.

The Defense Attorney Will Negotiate with the Prosecutor to Reduce the Charge from a Felony to a Misdemeanor           

But much of what I do is to try and get those convictions reduced down to a misdemeanor if the circumstances allow. Many times I am able to negotiate with the prosecutor and get that charge reduced. If you had a cocaine possession charge, just because its cocaine doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to end up being convicted of a felony.

This applies even if you are guilty but the charge according to the law it is a felony to possess cocaine. That’s a starting point and then part of my job is to try and work with the prosecutor either to get the case dropped or dismissed if you’re innocent. Or, I negotiate a more reasonable charge or get a plea bargain deal for you.

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