Drug Charges can carry severe penalties. In Oklahoma every drug charge is able to be enhanced. Meaning each charge a person gets after the first charge will have a steeper penalty imposed. (E.g. a first time cocaine charge carries 2 year to 10 years in prison. If that person has 1 prior drug charge the new charge will carry a minimum of 4 years to 20 years. If that person has two (2) prior drug charges that same charge will carry a minimum of 6 year to Life in prison.) Having a skilled and aggressive lawyer can often mean the difference between going to jail, being convicted and keeping your freedom and a clean record.
Oklahoma law makes it illegal to be in possession of any controlled dangerous substance unless there is a valid prescription for the substance. (However, marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma regardless of a prescription.) A list of all scheduled drugs can be found at www.oscn.net
Possession is a very simple concept as defined by the law of Oklahoma. A Person can be charged with actual possession of a drug or constructive possession. Actual possession would be physically having the substance in your; hands, pocket, pants, purse. Construction possession can be having “dominion and control” even if it is not within your reach. (E.g. four people are in a car; marijuana is located in the center console. All four individuals can be charged with possession of marijuana because the any of the people could have opened the center console and held the drugs.) However, having knowledge that the substance is there is element to having a possession charge. The State may be able to prove that there was possession of the drug but the State must also prove that the defendant had knowledge of the drug to possess it.
As you have read… Possession Charges can be extremely harsh on the defendant and can land a person in jail for years. The Charge is also a legally tricky concept with trap doors and loop holes everywhere. Hiring an experienced, skilled and aggressive attorney can be the most important choice you make. If you or a loved one is facing a drug charge call The Bayat Law firm for help.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia:
In Oklahoma, Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail. According to the Oklahoma Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, paraphernalia refers to:all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or fashioned specifically for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body, a controlled dangerous substance
Normally, things such as; pipes, papers, needles, baggies, scales and grinders are things police look for and log as paraphernalia.However, those instruments alone should not be enough to conviction someone of possession of paraphernalia without the requisite drug.
Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor if the person being charged does not have any previous drug charges. The misdemeanor marijuana charge can carry a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 1 year in jail. A second charge for possession of marijuana can be charged as a felony and carry a minimum of 2 years in jail and a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Possession with Intent to Distribute:
Oklahoma law has an extremely harsh penalty for Possession with Intent charges. The penalty can range from a minimum of 2 years in prison to Life in prison. The law itself can be misleading, as most people think that they must have to be selling a drug to land this charge. Oklahoma Law has set out that a person can be convicted of this charge for simply sharing the drug as well. Other factors are looked at by the police to determine what they view as “intent to distribute” such as the possession of paraphernalia like; baggies, scales, multiple packages or anything else that can viewed as used to distribute the drug. Often the police mistakenly believe the amount of the drug alone is enough to charge someone but that is an incorrect assumption as no one can determine a person’s intent by the weight alone. Call an experienced attorney to handle any drug case you or a loved one is facing.