Do I Need a Drug Defense Lawyer For a Drug Possession Charge in Oklahoma City?
Drug possession is still considered a serious crime in Oklahoma City, and if you are found in possession of marijuana or any other illegal drugs, you could be facing serious drug charges. Possession charges often carry with them a potential prison sentence and a permanent criminal record, particularly if you are charged with possession with intent to distribute.
If you are facing drug possession charges in Oklahoma City, you should seek the help of a drug defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Cannon & Associates, we have a team of experienced drug attorneys who can offer you honest legal advice on your case. Our legal team has a ton of experience in many practice areas, including fighting for justice in drug cases, and we can do the same for you.
The sooner you call our law firm, the longer we have to build a strong criminal defense on your behalf. Our dedication to getting our clients justice means that we have built up a strong attorney-client relationship. We are dedicated to ensuring that your life is not impacted by a criminal conviction.
Call our law office today to schedule a free consultation at 405-591-3935.
Drug Crimes in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma’s drug laws used to be regarded as some of the toughest drug laws in the country, and being convicted of possession as a first-time offender could have landed you in prison for a long time. However, in 2017, the state passed a law making simple possession of an illegal substance a misdemeanor offense.
This means that if you are caught in possession of a substance for personal use, then you will only receive a misdemeanor charge. This same law applies regardless of how many times you are caught with drugs for personal use.
The term personal use, is based on the quantity of a controlled substance that you have in your possession. If you are caught with 1 gram of marijuana, for example, this would likely be regarded as personal use. However, if you were caught with 100 grams of marijuana, the law enforcement officer would likely charge you with possession with intent to distribute.
If you are found with personal drug paraphernalia like a small pipe or rolling papers for marijuana, a police officer is more likely to conclude that you are using a drug for personal use. On the other hand, if they discover weighing scales and drug bags, they might conclude that you are drug dealing.
Possession With Intent to Distribute
Although Oklahoma’s laws on simple possession have relaxed in recent years, the law still takes a stringent approach towards possession with intent to distribute. The law regards possession with intent to distribute as a felony crime, which has harsher penalties than an Oklahoma state crime.
If you were caught doing any of the following, you could be charged with possession with intent to distribute:
- Possessing a large amount of a controlled, dangerous substance that is considered too much for personal use.
- Dealing or selling drugs.
- Giving drugs to your friends for free.
- Possessing drug paraphernalia such as weighing scales, money from drug proceeds, client lists, and packaging.
It is important to note that there is no specific quantity set out by Oklahoma law that amounts to an intent to distribute charge. It is up to the discretion of the law enforcement officer or prosecutor to decide whether the amount that you had in your possession amounts to personal use.
Speak with an Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney if you believe that you have been wrongly accused of possession with intent to distribute.
What Is a Controlled Dangerous Substance?
For a person to be charged with illegal possession of a drug, they must be found with controlled dangerous substances in their possession. The law in Oklahoma City considers certain substances to be illegal and categorizes them into drug schedules according to their level of danger and the risk they pose to the public for addiction and harm.
Drug offenses that involve Schedule I illegal substances are considered to be far more serious than drug crimes involving Schedule III IV or V substances.
Schedule I Drugs
Controlled dangerous substances that pose the highest risk to the public for harm and addiction are contained in Schedule I. If you are found possessing Schedule I drugs with intent to distribute or trafficking substances in this schedule, you can face severe penalties. Some examples of drugs in this category include:
- Crack cocaine.
- Methamphetamine (meth).
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD).
- Ecstasy (MDMA).
- Psilocybin (magic mushrooms).
Although marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug, Oklahoma law has recently allowed for the use of medical marijuana within the state. So, if you have a license to smoke or consume marijuana for medical reasons, you cannot be charged with illegal marijuana possession in Oklahoma.
Schedule II Drugs
Schedule II controlled substances are still regarded as harmful and dangerous substances however they are deemed to pose less risk than Schedule I drugs, and they have some medical benefits when used correctly. Drugs you will find in Schedule II include:
Schedule III Drugs
Substances contained in this schedule are regarded as having a lower risk for psychological and physical dependence. However, these substances can still cause harm if not prescribed by a medical professional. Examples include:
- Anabolic steroids.
- Codeine (products that contain less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage).
Schedule IV Drugs
Many common prescription drugs are contained in Schedule IV. Substances in this schedule are regularly prescribed by medical professionals however, when used incorrectly can pose a risk of addiction and abuse. Some Schedule IV drugs include:
Schedule V Drugs
Criminal charges resulting from Schedule V drugs are often the least serious as these drugs are regarded to pose the least amount of harm to the public. However, if you are found in possession of a large quantity of Schedule V drugs, you could still face serious drug charges. Examples of Schedule V substances include:
- Cough medicine.
Penalties For Drug Possession
As discussed earlier, Oklahoma’s drug laws have changed over the years, and previously the penalties for simple possession were far stricter. Now, because all simple possession charges are regarded as misdemeanors, all penalties are the same for each charge. The penalty for the misdemeanor charge of simple possession is up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
For subsequent offenses of possession, including marijuana possession, the penalty stays the exact same. So, even if you are found in possession of a controlled dangerous substance on more than one occasion, you will face the same penalty each time. However, being caught multiple times may raise suspicions of law enforcement agencies, and they may attempt to charge you with possession with intent to distribute.
Regardless of how serious your charge is, you should always seek legal help from an experienced drug defense lawyer in Oklahoma City. They can help ensure that you do not have to spend one year in prison away from your family and friends.
Possession Of a Forged Prescription
Unlawful possession of a forged prescription for the purposes of obtaining a controlled, dangerous substance is illegal in Oklahoma. This means that if you have a prescription that has not been given to you by a medical professional and that has been forged in an attempt to obtain prescription drugs such as Xanax, Oxycodone, or Ambien, you can face a felony drug charge.
The penalties for possession of a forged prescription are not too severe. However, if you attempt to obtain a controlled dangerous substance by using the prescription, you could face up to ten years prison time, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both. For subsequent offenses, you could be faced with up to twenty years imprisonment, a $20,000 fine, or both.
Possession With Intent to Distribute
Unlike simple possession, possession with intent to distribute is classed as a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years and a fine of up to $20,000, for a first offense. If the individual commits a second offense or is caught distributing Schedule I or II drugs, the sentence can be much more severe, with a mandatory minimum of 5 years for some cases.
In order for the police to charge you with felony possession with intent to distribute, they must have sufficient evidence. It may be the case that they conducted an illegal search on your property to get the evidence they need. A drug defense attorney in Oklahoma City can get illegal or unwarranted evidence against you thrown out in court.
Although drug trafficking is distinct from drug possession as a crime in Oklahoma, a person can be charged with drug trafficking if they are found with a large quantity of controlled dangerous substances in their possession.
Clients accused of trafficking are usually caught red-handed or in possession of a large quantity of drugs in addition to drug paraphernalia, large quantities of cash, or evidence that ties them to drug trafficking.
The penalties for drug trafficking include a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, fines of up to $500,000, mandatory minimum sentences for felony charges, and a permanent criminal record.
What Can an Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney Do For Me?
The criminal justice system in Oklahoma is notorious for taking a tough approach toward those facing drug charges. Drug crimes are a big problem within the state, and law enforcement wants to do everything in its power to minimize the amount of drugs on the street.
If you are facing a drug possession case in Oklahoma City, a criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that your charges are either thrown out or reduced, or your sentence is minimized. Although possession has been reduced to a misdemeanor charge, this can still land you up to one year in county jail, away from family and friends.
A drug defense attorney can check the warrant used to search you or your property, thoroughly examine any evidence brought against you, and look for any holes in the prosecution’s case. If you are facing a felony charge for possession with intent to sell, an attorney can help ensure that you are not faced with a maximum fine and a mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison.
A drug crime is something that can stain your record for the rest of your life and endanger your ability to find employment, education, and vote in future elections. A drug attorney with the necessary experience can help protect you against the adverse harm of a criminal conviction.
Do I Need a Drug Lawyer for a Drug Possession Charge in Oklahoma City?
If you do not want the rest of your life to be impacted by drug possession charges, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal assistance from an experienced drug defense attorney in Oklahoma City. Drug crimes are taken seriously by law enforcement within the state and a possession charge could lead to a permanent stain on your criminal record.
At Cannon & Associates, we have a team of criminal defense attorneys who are experienced in multiple practice areas. Our dedication to fighting the criminal justice system means that we always get the best possible results for our clients.
We offer a free case evaluation for you to speak with a criminal defense lawyer from our team with no strings attached.
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