DRUG CRIMES

Drug Possession Attorney in Arkansas

 

Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is a serious charge — especially if the state is claiming with purpose to deliver. Even worse, many people perceive drug possession charges as open and shut. That is simply not the case, and not every Arkansas attorney for drug charges will tell you that.

Whether you are accused of possessing a small amount of marijuana or kilogram of cocaine, you still have rights, quality defense options, and a chance of getting your charges dismissed. Your best chance at saving your career and reputation? An Arkansas drug lawyer with actual field experience in drugs.

Attorney Bobby Forrest is a former Narcotics detective with a wealth of experiences on drugs. This experience allows him to get inside the mind of officers and their process on how they handle drug cases and traffic stops. Attorney Forrest knows that not everything officers say is credible and he will go the mile to make sure that the State does not proves beyond reasonable doubt. 

If you’ve been charged with drug possession, drug manufacturing, drug possession with purpose to deliver, or any related drug charge, contact a Arkansas attorney for drug charges at King & Forrest Law Group by calling 501-918-0798 today.

Possession Crimes

In Arkansas, illegal possession of controlled substances carries a range of penalties that can include jail or prison time.

Possession of Schedule I or II Controlled Substances

Penalties for possession of schedule I or II drugs range from a class D to class B felony.

Cocaine or Methamphetamine

The punishment for possession of Schedules I or II controlled substances (cocaine or methamphetamine only) depends on the amount of the drug in the defendant's possession.

  • Possession of less than two grams is a class D felony.

  • Possession of two grams or more but less than ten grams is a class C felony.

  • Possession of ten grams or more but less than 200 grams is a class B felony.

Not Cocaine or Methamphetamine

The punishment for possession of Schedules I or II controlled substance (not cocaine or methamphetamine) depends on the amount of the drug in the defendant's possession.

  • Possession of less than two grams is a class D felony.

  • Possession of two grams or more but less than 28 grams is a class C felony.

  • Possession of 28 grams or more but less than 100 grams is a class B felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Possession of Schedule III Controlled Substances

The punishment for possession of Schedule III controlled substances depends on the amount of the drug in the defendant's possession.

  • Possession of less than two grams is a class A misdemeanor except, if the person has four or more prior convictions, the penalty increases to class D felony.

  • Possession of two grams or more but less than 28 grams is a class D felony.

  • Possession of 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams is a class C felony.

  • Possession of 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams is a class B felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Possession of Schedule IV or V Controlled Substances

The punishment for possession of Schedules IV or V controlled substances depends on the amount of the drug in the defendant's possession.

  • Possession of less than 28 grams is a class A misdemeanor except, if the person has four or more prior convictions, the penalty increases to class D felony.

  • Possession of 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams is a class D felony.

  • Possession of 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams is a class C felony.

  • Possession of 400 grams or more but less than 800 grams is a class B felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Possession of Schedule VI Controlled Substances

The punishment for possession of Schedules VI controlled substances depends on the amount of the drug in the defendant's possession and whether the defendant has any prior convictions for possession of Schedule VI controlled substances.

  • Possession of less than four ounces is a class A misdemeanor.

  • Possession of one ounce or more but less than four ounces, when the defendant has four previous convictions for possession of Schedule VI drug, is a class D felony.

  • Possession of four ounces or more but less than ten pounds is a class D felony.

  • Possession of ten pounds or more but less than 25 pounds is a class C felony.

  • Possession of 25 pounds or more but less than 100 pounds is a class B felony.

  • Possession of 100 pounds or more but less than 500 pounds is a class A felony.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Trafficking: Schedules I to VI

Possession of the following amounts of a controlled substance constitutes trafficking and is punishable as a Class Y felony:

  • 200 grams or more of a Schedule I or II drug,

  • 400 grams or more of a Schedule III drug,

  • 800 grams or more of a Schedule IV or V drug, and

  • 500 pounds or more of a Schedule VI drug.

(Ark. Code 5-64-440 (2019).)

 

 

Delivery or Possession With Purpose to Deliver

Arkansas law refers to illegal drug sale crimes as the "delivery of controlled substances" and "possession of controlled substances with purpose to deliver."

Delivery. Delivery means to transfer or attempt to transfer from one person to another a controlled substance in exchange for money or anything of value. A completed sales transaction does not need to occur.

Possession with purpose to deliver. Depending on the circumstances, someone charged with possessing an illegal drug might instead end up facing charges of possession with purpose to deliver—sometimes called intent to sell or intent to distribute. A person's purpose to deliver is based on evidence showing the accused intended to sell the drugs and not possess them for personal use, such as:

  • the presence of weight scales and packaging materials

  • records indicating drug-related transactions

  • physical control of a firearm, or

  • possession of multiple controlled substances in any amount.

Schedules I and II: Delivery or Possession With Purpose to Deliver

Penalties for delivery of, and possession with purpose to deliver, Schedule I and II drugs range from a Class C to Class Y felony.

Cocaine or Methamphetamine

Possession with purpose to deliver or actual delivery of methamphetamine or cocaine is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:

  • Less than two grams is a Class C felony.

  • Two grams or more but less than ten grams is a Class B felony.

If the amount is ten grams or more but less than 200 grams:

  • Possession with the purpose to deliver is a Class A felony.

  • Actual delivery is a Class Y felony.

Not Methamphetamine or Cocaine

Possession with the purpose to deliver or the actual delivery of Schedule I or II controlled substances other than methamphetamine or cocaine is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:

  • Less than two grams is a Class C felony.

  • Two grams or more but less than 28 grams is a Class B felony.

  • 80 or more but less than 160 doses of hydromorphone hydrochloride or LSD is a Class B felony.

  • 80 or more but less than 160 doses and no more than 200 grams of a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class B felony.

  • 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams is a Class A felony.

  • 160 doses or more but less than 200 grams of hydromorphone hydrochloride, LSD, or a Schedule I or II depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class A felony.

(Ark. Code §§ 5-64-420, -422, -424, -426 (2019).)

Schedule III: Delivery or Possession With Purpose to Deliver

Possession with purpose to deliver a Schedule III controlled substances is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:

  • Less than 28 grams, and not a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant, is a Class C felony.

  • Less than 80 doses of a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class C felony.

  • 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams, and not a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant, is a Class B felony.

  • 80 or more but less than 160 doses of a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class B felony.

  • 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams, and not a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant, is a Class A felony.

  • 160 doses or more of a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class A felony.

Delivery of Schedule III controlled substances is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:

  • Less than 28 grams is a Class C felony.

  • 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams is a Class B felony.

  • 200 grams or more is a Class A felony.

(Ark. Code §§ 5-64-428, -430 (2019).)

Schedules IV and V: Delivery or Possession With Purpose to Deliver

Possession with the purpose to deliver Schedule IV or V controlled substances is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:

  • Less than 200 grams, and not a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant, is a Class D felony.

  • Less than 80 doses for a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class D felony.

  • 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams, and not a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant, is a Class C felony

  • 80 or more but less than 160 doses of a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class C felony.

  • 400 grams or more but less than 800 grams, and not a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant, is a Class B felony.

  • 160 doses or more but less than 800 grams of a depressant, hallucinogenic, or stimulant is a Class B felony.

Delivery of Schedule IV or V controlled substances is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:

  • Less than 200 grams is a Class D felony.

  • 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams is a Class C felony.

  • 400 grams or more but less than 800 grams is a Class B felony.

(Ark. Code §§ 5-64-432, -434 (2019).)

Schedule VI: Delivery or Possession With Purpose to Deliver

Possession with the purpose to deliver or the actual delivery of a Schedule VI controlled substance is punished based on the amount of the substance involved:

  • 14 grams or less is a Class A misdemeanor.

  • More than 14 grams but less than four ounces is a Class D felony.

  • Four ounces or more but less than 25 pounds is a Class C felony.

  • 25 pounds or more but less than 100 pounds is a Class B felony.

  • 100 pounds or more but less than 500 pounds is a Class A felony.

(Ark. Code §§ 5-64-436, -438 (2019).)

 

 

Enhanced Penalties for Possession Crimes

Arkansas law provides harsher penalties for possession crimes committed by repeat offenders and inmates or near areas with vulnerable populations.

Habitual Offenders

The law allows extended terms of imprisonment for defendants with prior felony convictions. In addition, a sentence can be doubled for certain repeat drug convictions.

Inmate in a Detention Facility

A defendant convicted of possession of drugs in a state, county, city, or juvenile detention facility will be punished under the next higher criminal classification.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-419 (2019).)

Sale or Delivery to a Minor

A controlled substance crime involving delivery to a minor (younger than 18) can incur serious penalties, including two times the punishment or an additional 10 years' imprisonment.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-406. (2019).)

Near Schools, Public Facilities, and Other Designated Areas

A defendant convicted of a class C felony possession or higher within 1,000 feet of these facilities may be punished by an additional ten years' incarceration:

  • city or state park

  • public or private school, college, or university campus

  • school bus stop

  • skating rink, Boys Club, Girls Club, YMCA, YWCA, community center, recreation center, or video arcade

  • public housing project

  • drug or alcohol treatment center

  • daycare center

  • place of worship, or

  • shelter as defined.

(Ark. Code § 5-64-411 (2019).)

 

Other Possession Crimes

Arkansas also makes it illegal to possess and use drug paraphernalia—items used to ingest, inhale, or inject controlled substances. When drug paraphernalia is used to introduce methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, or cocaine into the body, the offense is a class D felony. In all other cases, it's a class A misdemeanor. (Ark. Code § 54-64-443.)

How King & Forrest Law Group fights drug charges

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fighting drug charges, but certain strategies come up often when defending drug charges in Houston.

Proving that the seized goods were not illegal drugs

People can be arrested for drug possession when what they possess isn’t even a drug. Drugs are required to be sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab for verification and weight amount.

Proving the defendant did not legally possess the drugs

In some instances, the prosecution may not have sufficient evidence to prove that you “knowingly or intentionally” possessed an illegal drug.

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The same way citizens are supposed to obey the law, the police are held to a certain set of standards for doing their job legally.

Under the Fourth Amendment to the constitution, all American citizens are protected against “unreasonable search and seizure.” While the definition of “unreasonable” is rooted primarily in case law, police can be held to some consistent standards in court.

In order for a search to be legal, the police must have probable cause to search you or your vehicle, and they must use that probable cause to obtain a search warrant. Based on the Fourth Amendment, probable cause is anything that leads the officer to believe the following:

  • That it is reasonable to believe that a crime was committed by an individual.

  • That a crime was committed in the location where a search has been requested.

  • The location to be searched contains detectable evidence that a crime has been committed there.

In other words, things like red eyes, a roach clip on the ground, marijuana odor or even a digital scale can constitute probable cause. If a police officer is suspicious, but lacks any obvious probable cause, they can still call in a K9 unit to sniff the car and obtain a search warrant.

However, according to the Supreme Court ruling in Rodriguez v. United States, the police cannot extend a traffic stop beyond the time required for citation without probable cause. This means that even with a positive read from a drug dog, if your traffic stop was delayed for an unreasonable amount of time with no probable cause beyond the cop’s suspicion, their search may be thrown out!

This defense is addressed through a pretrial motion to suppress.

Don’t Just Take the Plea – Hire Aggressive Drug Possession Lawyer

If you’re facing drug charges, every little detail counts. Don’t just accept the conviction and take probation. If the police have violated your rights, you need a lawyer familiar with possession law who will get you the justice you deserve. Bobby Forrest understands the severity of the consequences you are facing and will fight for your freedom. He will work to have the case dismissed, reduced and either get the best deal possible or take it to trial.

Call us now at 501-918-0798