Drug possession is taken very seriously in Kansas. Getting multiple convictions for possession in Overland Park, KS can lead to stiff fines and even imprisonment. One way to avoid getting multiple convictions is to choose a lawyer who understands how these cases work. This article will discuss what happens if you get multiple convictions for possession and how you can best protect yourself.
The Consequences of Multiple Convictions for Drug Possession in Overland Park, KS
Multiple drug possession convictions in Overland Park can have serious consequences. The penalties may include fines, probation, and even jail time. You may also be subject to drug testing and even have your driver’s license suspended or revoked if found guilty of subsequent charges.
A first-time conviction for possession of drugs like marijuana and cocaine will result in a fine and probation in many cases. But if you have multiple convictions on your record, the penalties are likely to be more severe, and a judge could order you to serve time in jail or prison or impose more severe fines.
Possession vs. Distribution
Possession of most drugs, including marijuana and cocaine, is a serious crime in Kansas. The penalties for possession vary depending on what type of drug you have in your possession and how much. Generally speaking, the penalties for possession of controlled substances are the same regardless of what specific controlled substance you are found to possess.
Kansas Drug Possession Penalties
Possession of drugs can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of possession, you could face numerous consequences.
Possession of marijuana for personal use means having control over the drug or having it in a place where you have control. In Kansas, possession of marijuana for personal use may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
A first-time marijuana possession charge in Kansas is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, this charge can be dismissed upon completing probation if you are eligible for diversion.
A conviction on a methamphetmine charge in Kansis felony offense, and penalties are dependent on criminal history. The punishment for this crime can vary from 10 months to 42 months in prison. A defendant with no prior convictions may be placed on probation and ordered to complete treatment. In some cases, jail time is given before probation begins so the defendant will not lose their job while on probation.
Heroin or Cocaine Possession
Possession of heroin or cocaine can bring a level 5 drug felony, which carries a maximum fine of $100,000 and a possible sentence of 10 to 42 months in prison. Probation is up to 18 months and may include mandatory drug treatment.
Intent To Distribute
If you sell or give away any amount of drugs (including marijuana) without a valid prescription, this is considered distribution. In drug cases, the prosecution typically relies on a defendant’s intent to distribute (or sell) drugs to increase fines and jail time.
However, without knowing what a person was thinking, it is hard for police to prove intent to distribute. Charges are often based solely on the number of drugs that you possess at the time of your arrest; if the amount seems too large for one person to consume, charges will usually be increased to include intent to sell. Distribution carries stiffer penalties than simple possession because it involves selling drugs rather than just using them yourself.
Intent To Distribute Methamphetamine, Cocaine, or Heroin
Charges for distributing or intending to distribute 1 ro 3.5 grams of meth, 3.5 to 100 grams of cocaine, or 1 to 3.5 grams of heroin are considered a level 3 drug felony. Level 3 drug felonies carry a maximum fine of $300,000 and a possible sentence of 46 to 83 months of prison time. Probation of up to 36 months could be granted as well. If you are convicted, you may need to register as a drug offender.
A person convicted of distributing or intending to distribute 3.5 to 100 grams of methamphetamine or heroin, or between 100 grams and 1 kilogram of cocaine, is guilty of a level 2 drug felony and may be punished with up to a $500,000 fine and a possible sentence of 92 to144 months in prison. Thirty-six months of probation is another possible outcome. Registration as a drug offender may also apply if convicted.
Intent To Distribute Marijuana
A person convicted of distributing 30 kilograms or more of marijuana or cultivating 100 or more plants as a level 1 drug felony faces up to 204 months in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
Possession of marijuana as a level 5 drug felony can carry a prison sentence of up to 42 months and fine of up to $100,000 for third and subsequent convictions. Penalties for a second conviction of possession of marijuana as a class A misdemeanor include up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Defenses to Drug Charges in Overland Park, KS
If you face drug charges in Overland Park, KS, you must know your available options. Even though this is a serious offense and could lead to jail time, several defenses can be used to fight these charges.
Illegal Traffic Stops
One common defense against drug charges is an illegal traffic stop. A police officer is required to have reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity before pulling over a motorist. The charges may be dismissed if the stop was unlawful and drugs were discovered during the search.
This is a defense to drug charges that involve the defendant’s detention by law enforcement. Police officers can only detain a suspect for a reasonable time if they have reasonable suspicion. If the detention exceeds that time or the officer does not find anything or holds you for too long, you could challenge the detention.
You can challenge any evidence obtained through an illegal search and seizure. The police may search a car or home without a warrant only if they have probable cause or with your consent. If you withhold your consent, or if the officer coerces, pressures, or intimidates you into allowing the search, any evidence found may be excluded from the trial.
If someone else used your property to commit a crime, or if someone else planted evidence on you, these defenses may also be available to you.
Defenses for Intent to Distribute
A criminal defense attorney help can prove that the drugs were for personal use only and help you avoid a permanent felony conviction. If you did not have any paraphernalia indicating distribution (scales, text messages indicating a transaction, or a logbook of commerce), the drugs might be for personal use.
If you have been charged with possession in Overland Park, Kansas, contact Billam & Henderson, LLC Attorneys at Law to speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer at once. Our lawyers can help you understand the charges against you and your rights under the law. The sooner you contact us, the better your chances of avoiding any serious consequences of a conviction.