Areas Of Practice
Drug Possession Attorney
Rhode Island now classifies possession of up to 10 grams of certain controlled substances as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Still, drug possession charges have serious consequences. Contact a drug possession attorney immediately to protect your reputation and your employment prospects.
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An Experienced Drug Possession Attorney in Rhode Island Can Help You Navigate Your Drug Charges
Adult use of marijuana in limited amounts is now legal anywhere cigarettes are allowed in Rhode Island. However, certain amounts of marijuana remain illegal. Many people are shocked to learn they may have committed a serious crime following the many successes of widely-publicized marijuana legalization efforts. If this may describe your situation, then you need to enlist the help of an experienced Rhode Island drug possession attorney.
Possession of cocaine, heroin, and other controlled substances also continues to be illegal. An experienced drug possession attorney can review your case and advise you on your legal options.
Common Criminal Charges for Drug Crimes in Rhode Island
There are two main drug possession charges in Rhode Island:
- Simple possession: Simple possession — meaning possession for personal use — of 10 grams or less of certain controlled substances is a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years of jail time. Possession of larger amounts is a felony unless prescribed by a medical professional or otherwise authorized by Rhode Island law.
- Possession with intent to manufacture or deliver: If you are not dependent on drugs and possess a Schedule I or II controlled substance (except marijuana) with intent to manufacture or deliver, you face a minimum fine of $10,000 and up to $500,000, up to life in prison, or both.
Note that there are special rules for marijuana. Rhode Island law also treats drug-addicted persons more leniently than non-addicted persons, and penalties vary depending on the type of drug. A drug possession lawyer can explain the rules that apply in your case.
Understanding Rhode Island’s Marijuana Crimes in a Climate of Marijuana Legalization
Rhode Island has legalized the use and possession of marijuana/cannabis in limited amounts. If you are 21 or older, you may:
- Buy or own up to one ounce
- Own up to 10 ounces at home
- Transfer up to one ounce to another adult
- Own up to five grams of cannabis concentrate, minus the weight of any other ingredients
Possession of larger amounts is still illegal. Contact a drug offense lawyer if you face marijuana possession charges.
- Possession of 1 ounce to 1 kg is a misdemeanor and carries a $500 fine and up to a year jail time.
- Possession of 1-5 kg with intent to distribute is classified as felony drug possession punishable by $500,000 and 10-50 years in prison.*
- Possession of more than 5 kg with intent to distribute is a felony that carries a $100,000 fine and 25 years to life in prison.*
* You face double penalties if the felony occurred within 300 yards of a school.
Classifying Crimes Involving Cocaine, Heroin, and Other Illegal Substances in Rhode Island
The sale, manufacturing, and possession of cocaine, heroin, and other Schedule I and II drugs are illegal in Rhode Island. A drug defense attorney can review your case and explain your legal prospects.
- Possession of up to 1 ounce: $500-$5,000 fine and/or up to three years of jail time
- Possession of 1 ounce to 1 kg: $10,000-$50,000 fine and/or 10-50 years in prison
- Possession of more than 1 kg: $25,000-$1,000,000 fine and 20 years to life in prison
Rhode Island courts impose lesser penalties if you plead no contest to minor drug charges. You would have to participate in a drug education program and complete 100 hours of community service. There are likewise lighter sentences for non-violent drug offenders and drug-dependent dealers.
The harshest penalties are for non-dependent dealers and those selling drugs to minors or within 300 yards of school premises.
Understanding State & Federal Drug Crime Charges
State drug crimes, as the name suggests, involve the use or possession of drugs within one state. In contrast, federal drug crimes involve the transportation of drugs across state borders or to other countries.
You may also face federal charges if the crime:
- Occurred on federal property
- Involves a large amount of an illegal substance
- Has connections to organized criminal activity
Federal crimes typically carry more severe penalties. Moreover, federal law enforcement officers have more resources to investigate crimes and gather evidence, so you are more likely to end up with a conviction.
In any case, both state and federal drug convictions have serious implications for your criminal record. An experienced drug crime lawyer can explain whether you are facing state or federal charges.
At the Law Offices of Thomas G. Briody in Providence, we are prepared to assess your situation and advise on the next steps – whether you face state or federal charges.
Contact Thomas G. Briody, an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug Possession Charges, As Soon As You Suspect You May Have a Legal Issue in Rhode Island — Preferably Before You Are Charged
Thomas G. Briody is an experienced criminal defense lawyer and drug possession attorney based in Providence, Rhode Island. He has a deep understanding of Rhode Island’s criminal justice system and has many years of experience representing defendants in drug possession cases.
Whether you expect to face drug possession charges or you have already been charged, contact the Law Offices of Thomas G. Briody as soon as possible. The sooner we start working on your case, the more we can do towards improving your legal situation.
Waste no time. Call the Law Offices of Thomas G. Briody at (401) 751-5151 today to discuss your case.
Law Offices of Thomas G. Briody — Aggressive, Compassionate Defense
Why Choose the Law Offices of Thomas G. Briody?
You need help right now to improve your legal situation and put your life back together. Time is of the essence. We are here to guide you and advocate on your behalf. Move past the paralyzing anxiety and begin protecting your future. The sooner you reach out, the better we may be able to help you, so call the Law Offices of Thomas G. Briody in Providence, Rhode Island, today.
- Aggressive, compassionate defense from an advocate who is deeply familiar with the intricacies of the legal system in Rhode Island
- Strong and effective representation for both state and federal criminal allegations
- Experience building on three decades of Rhode Island criminal defense cases
- Personal, individualized direct handling of your case from a seasoned Rhode Island attorney
- A strong record representing individuals accused of crimes, ranging from teenagers to high-ranking government officials
- Creative tactics to preserve opportunities for your future and to clear your name
- Peace of mind under pressure