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Drug possession penalties: Things you need to know

Everyone makes mistakes in their life, with some carrying bigger consequences than others.

A charge of drug possession is every bit as serious as it sounds. A conviction could change your life forever, as the penalties can be stiff. With this in mind, you need to understand what you're up against as your case moves through the legal system.

The penalties for drug possession vary based on a number of factors, including your intentions, how much of the drug you were possessing at the time of the arrest, and the type of drug.

For example, on the low end, a simple possession could carry a penalty of $100 or less, and a few days in jail. However, in more serious situations, it's possible that this could result in several years in a state prison.

What else can you do?

Even with mandatory minimum sentences in place, there are things you can do to improve your situation.

For example, you can learn more about special drug courts, which can help keep you out of prison. Also, if you don't have a past criminal record, this can go a long way in helping you avoid the most serious punishment.

Depending on the details of your case, the judge may have discretion when imposing a penalty, with options ranging from a fine to community service to a prison sentence.

Drug possession is a big deal, as a conviction will change your life in many ways. Even if you are able to avoid prison time, your conviction could alter your personal and professional life. For example, you may not be able to keep your current job if you have a drug possession conviction on your record.

Here's the positive: Even if you are dealing with a charge of drug possession, there is no guarantee it will lead to a conviction. Knowing your legal rights will help you implement the right defense strategy.

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  • HSBA Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Judiciary State Of Hawaii
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  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
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