When Is Drug Possession a Felony?

Any drug crime can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. This depends on the type of drug as well as the amount and any mitigating factors. Like other kinds of law, a felony conviction will be met with harsher penalties than a misdemeanor conviction. These punishments may include jail or prison time, large fines, probation, mandatory community service, and more. Consequences that differ from the legal penalties might also ensue after a felony conviction. For example, you may lose your right to have a weapon or may have a professional license revoked. 

If you are facing drug charges, it may be in your best interest to consult a drug lawyer, like a drug lawyer in San Francisco, CA, for immediate legal assistance. 

Factors that May Determine a Felony Charge

In cases that involve a drug that is considered to be less dangerous, or a small amount, a misdemeanor charge may be given. If the drug amount was large, the drug was more dangerous, there was the intent to sell, or any other aggravating factors were present, the prosecutor might choose to charge the defendant with a felony. 

Aggravating Factors that Could Lead to a Felony

There are many different aggravating factors that could result in a felony charge. Some of these may include:

  • The incident occurred on or near school grounds
  • The incident occurred in a public place (such as a park)
  • The incident occurred at or near a drug rehab
  • The incident involved a minor
  • Repeat offenses

Drug possession laws are typically strict. Possession of a schedule one drug is the most serious. These drugs are those that have no medical use, as well as, a high abuse potential. In general, if you are caught with a schedule one drug, you will likely be charged with a felony. Schedule one drugs include cocaine and heroin. If this is not your first offense, you may face very serious consequences without the help of a drug possession lawyer. 

Possession with Intent Versus Simple Possession
As a drug possession lawyer might explain to you, a prosecutor will likely assume intent to sell or distribute when a large quantity of drugs are found or if there was a certain form of paraphernalia. Even if the defendants motives were for personal use, they could face intent to sell charges. In this case, it may be considered a felony conviction.

Get Immediate Legal Counsel
If you are facing drug possession charges, now is the time to act. A good lawyer is standing by and ready to assist you with your charges. In the event that you are being investigated, but have not been charged, it may be in your best interest to avoid speaking with anyone before you talk with a lawyer. 

These crimes are often charged as a felony. Years of jail time and probation as well as thousands of dollars in fines can result. A drug possession lawyer may help you to have these charges reduced or dropped. Call one to help you today. 


Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into when drug possession becomes a felony.