Cocaine Possession and Sales Lawyers

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Federal Law and Scheduling for Cocaine Possession

Currently, it is illegal to possess or distribute cocaine. Cocaine is considered a Schedule II drug, a classification found in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). A Schedule II Drug is defined as a drug which:

Typically, the Department of Justice does not prosecute simple, minor possessions, leaving that up to the respective municipality in which the crime occurred. Federal prosecutions normally focus on sales, cultivation, manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs.

Federal Trafficking Penalties

Federal laws hinge on a set of guidelines. For cocaine possession, when the amount is 500-4999 grams (mixed), the following is the extent of penalties:

State Law and Scheduling

State law typically penalizes for a wider variety of offenses than the federal system, ranging from minor possession to the sale of large quantities. States for the most part mirror the CSA, and classify most drugs according to federal guidelines. Cocaine is considered a Schedule II in most states, but carries with it a wide variety of fines and prison terms for possession and sale:

Crack vs. Cocaine

At the federal level, there is a huge disparity between the sentencing penalties for cocaine in powder form and crack cocaine. States, for the most part, do not reflect this federal sentencing disparity. However, it is important to remember that even though states may not have defined different penalties between the different forms of cocaine, this does not mean that judges, juries, and the criminal system deal with offenders equally.

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney for My Arrest Regarding Possession / Sale of Cocaine?

If you have been accused of or arrested for the possession or sale of cocaine, you may want to seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney in preparation for any phase of the criminal process. If found guilty, there are often many factors a court will take into consideration when assessing whether to impose maximum or minimum penalties, and a criminal defense attorney can aid considerably in explaining and helping in this process.

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Last Modified: 03-05-2014 12:25 PM PST

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