Recently, our blog spent some time discussing how we’re finally starting to see attitudes toward drug crimes undergo a fundamental shift, as citizens, lawmakers and law enforcement recognize the significant toll taken by unduly harsh sentences.
We also discussed how real change in this area has yet to materialize here in Arkansas, as the punishment for seemingly minor drug crimes like possession of a controlled dangerous substance for personal use are still very harsh.
Having already established how the state classifies controlled dangerous substances, today’s post will now shift the focus to how the law penalizes possession of a controlled substance for personal use.
What is the general penalty structure for CDS possession crimes?
The law here in Arkansas generally divides felony-level crimes fall into one of six classes — unclassified, Y, A, B, C, and D. Here, unclassified felonies include the most serious offenses, while Class D felonies include the least serious offenses.
CDS possession crimes generally fall somewhere in the range of Class A, B, C or D felonies.
What are the punishments for Class A, B, C or D felonies?
Class A felonies are punishable by anywhere from six to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000, while Class B felonies are punishable by anywhere from five to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
Class C felonies are punishable by anywhere from three to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000, while Class D felonies are punishable by as much as six years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
How would this apply in the context of possession of a CDS?
To illustrate how the penalty structure is applied, consider possession of a schedule I CDC.
Possession of ten grams or more, but less than 200 grams of a schedule I CDS is a Class B felony, while possession of two grams or more, but less than ten grams, is a Class C felony. Finally, possession of less than two grams of a schedule I CDS is charged as a Class D felony.
Future posts will continue to examine the penalties for possession of a controlled substance for personal use.
If you’ve been charged with any sort of drug-related offense, please consider speaking with an skilled legal professional who can protect your rights and your future as soon as possible.