What Happens If You Get Caught in Possession of Meth?

Posted: August 15, 2021 at 12:00 am
Although the United States increasingly believes that drug possession and addiction should be treated more as a health issue than a criminal offense, there are still strict measures in place to combat any infringement of the law in some areas. In Kansas City, KS, being charged with possession of illegal drugs is a serious offense and can bring strong penalties if you are found guilty. Getting the best drug defense lawyers is the key to a lighter sentence or acquittal.

Relative to other drugs, meth will get you high for longer and is extremely addictive, making it more difficult to maintain a regular life. The high potency of this drug makes it more dangerous and destructive to society; thus there are harsher penalties for possessing or distributing it than for some other drugs. There are five felony levels in the prosecution of drug-related incidents in Kansas City, KS, and the severity of the charges brought against you will vary depending on the specific circumstances.

What Happens If You Get Caught in Possession of Meth?

Level Five Felony (Lowest Severity)

If the police arrest you while you are in possession of 1 gram or less of meth, you face a maximum fine of $100,000 and can face a prison sentence of up to 42 months. Possession might mean you have the drug on your person, or it might be found in your car or somewhere among your belongings. It could also mean that you were in the process of using the drug at the moment of your arrest.

If you are charged with drug possession but this offense is the first mark on your record, you could face as little as 10 months in prison, usually with random drug testing and a period of probation as part of this sentence. The more prior offenses you have on your record, the longer time you are likely to spend in jail and the less likely you are to receive probation or rehabilitative assistance. 

Level Four Felony

If you are caught in possession of 1 gram or less but the state finds you guilty of intent to distribute the drug, the sentence will be more serious. This offense will result in a fine of up to $300,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 51 months. As with Level Five, the severity of the sentence will be reduced depending on your criminal record, and if this is your first offense, you could serve only 14 months.

Level Three Felony

To be convicted of a Level Three felony, you must be arrested in possession of anywhere between 1 and 3.5 grams. Being caught with this much in your possession will bring a fine of $300,000 and can carry a maximum sentence of 83 months in prison. If you have fewer or even no prior convictions on your record, this sentence can be reduced to as little as 46 months in some cases.

Level Two Felony

If you are found to be in possession of anywhere between 3.5 and 100 grams of the drug, and the state finds you guilty of intending to distribute it, you face serious fines and prison time. At the more extreme end, the fines can stretch up to half a million dollars. The prison sentence can be as low as 92 months or as high as twelve full years.

In addition to this, you will be registered by the state as a drug offender, meaning that upon your release you must register with the local law enforcement agency in any place you intend to live or work. This comes with registration fees, and the offender must present themselves four times a year to the local law enforcement agency.

Level One Felony (Most Severe)

You will be charged with a Level One felony if you are caught in possession of 100 or more grams or if you are caught distributing this amount. This charge will also result in a maximum fine of $500,000. Your prison sentence will be anywhere from 138 months for a clean criminal record and up to 204 months if your criminal record is already extensive.

Drug Paraphernalia

In addition to the charges for drug possession, you should also be aware of the laws surrounding the paraphernalia used to produce or ingest drugs that can get you arrested in Kansas. “Drug Paraphernalia” covers an extremely long list of items, referring to anything that is used primarily in the planting, cultivating, growing, processing, packaging, transporting, concealing, or ingesting of the drug.

This prohibition covers a huge range of materials, and simply being caught in possession of any of them could result in a conviction for a Class A Non-Person Misdemeanour, which carries a maximum term of 12 months in prison.

Probation For Drug Possession

If you are convicted of a Level Five felony, and you do not have an extensive criminal record already, you will be eligible to receive probation as part of your sentence instead of prison time. Although this is likely to be preferable to prison time, probation still comes with varying levels of monitoring, either by Court Services or a Probation Officer. A good drug defense lawyer will help you work out the best options for your situation.

Probation could include various restrictions on your freedoms, such as being prevented from visiting certain locations, having your alcohol and drug intake monitored or prohibited, wearing an ankle bracelet to monitor your movements, or community service and attendance at meetings. These restrictions are obviously not as severe as a prison sentence and can help you get clean from an addiction to drugs and get back to a healthy lifestyle.

Rehab

Due in part to the overburdening of the prison system, rehab facilities and court-ordered rehab have become an important part of the state’s response to drug offenses. Often it is up to the defendant to find their own rehabilitation facility as an alternative to prison time, but there are services available to help with this.

If you go to a rehabilitation facility, you will continue to receive regular monitoring from the courts to ensure healthy progress with the aim of rejoining society once your time in rehab is over. If this is your first offense and you are in danger of succumbing to serious drug addiction, rehab provides an opportunity to get you back on your feet.

Drug Defence Lawyers In Kansas City, KS

Any drug defense lawyer experienced in dealing with drug crimes will know how to challenge the charges you are facing. There are a variety of ways your lawyer can contest the charges brought against you, and the key is acting quickly. For example, if you were pulled over with no clear reason or subjected to a search to which you didn’t consent, your lawyer can work to reduce your charges or even have them withdrawn.

If your attorney works quickly and determinedly on your behalf, you can very often have your charges reduced. Contact us at Billam & Henderson in Kansas City, KS today. We have dedicated our careers to criminal law and the protection of individuals whose rights have been violated. We work diligently on behalf of their clients.