Potential Drug Penalties
Drug crimes can result in a wide variety of penalties, from less than one year in jail to life in prison. For example, possession of a small amount of marijuana (less than 4 ounces) is a class A misdemeanor, which only carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if you are arrested with more than 1 ounce of marijuana and have two prior possession convictions, you face up to six years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
As the example above illustrates, the following factors are generally taken into account when determining the potential penalties for an Arkansas drug crime:
- Nature of the offense
— Drug possession is a lesser offense, while drug distribution or drug trafficking results in more serious penalties.
- Prior criminal record
— You may be ineligible for alternative sentencing or may face enhanced penalties upon a second, third or subsequent drug crime conviction.
- Use of weapons
— If you were in possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon, you will likely face increased penalties and the possibility of mandatory minimum penalties.
- Type and amount of drug
— Arkansas classifies controlled substances into schedules according to their potential for abuse, danger and other factors. Schedule I substances are considered the most dangerous and carry the harshest penalties upon a conviction.