When it comes to drug-related offenses, Idaho laws make a clear distinction between simple possession, and possession with intent to deliver. It is important to understand how these two terms differ, and why possession with intent to deliver is a more serious crime.
Simple possession is when you are found in possession of a minimum amount of a controlled substance. This type of charge is typically brought against individuals who use drugs for recreational purposes, or because of their addiction.
A simple possession charge is usually brought when smaller quantities of drugs are involved. You can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type and quantity of the drug involved. The penalties can range from a few months to several years behind bars.
Possession with intent to deliver is a more serious offense. This type of charge is typically brought when there is some evidence that you intended to deliver or sell the drugs that you possessed at the time of arrest. The charge may also be brought when you possess a certain quantity of drugs as the prosecution can argue that you carried the drugs in this amount in order to sell or deliver them.
The key difference between the two types of possession is that of the intended use. The penalties for possession with intent to deliver are a lot more severe. This is why it is critically important to get legal representation if you are charged with this offense.
Penalties for Possession with Intent to Deliver
The actual penalties for this offense depend on the type of drug that is involved. Here is a look at the penalties for this charge regarding the notable types of drugs.
Under Idaho laws, marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Compared to many neighboring states, Idaho has harsh penalties that apply to marijuana possession, and possession with intent to deliver.
For the latter charge, the penalties include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. This is applicable when you have been charged with drug dealing, selling, or trafficking offense anywhere in the U.S. during the past ten years.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a Schedule II drug in Idaho. Possession, sale, and trafficking of meth carries serious penalties under Idaho laws.
For possession of methamphetamine, you get at least 3 years in prison if the amount you possess is found to be 28 grams or more. Depending on the amount recovered from you, the maximum sentence you receive can be a lifetime behind bars.
Cocaine is another Schedule II drug under Idaho laws. As per Idaho Statutes 37-2701, simple possession of cocaine in the amount of less than 28 grams is a felony. The penalties for simple possession include a jail time of up to 7 years, or a $15,000 fine, or both.
If you are found to be in possession of cocaine in excess of 28 grams, you face a trafficking charge. For amounts between 28 grams and 200 grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is 3 years, with a minimum fine of $10,000. Depending on the amount recovered from you, the maximum prison sentence you may face is life, and the maximum fine is $100,000.
Pleading for Lower Penalties
Even a minor difference in the nature of charges brought against you for a drug offense can drastically change the nature of penalties you face. As noted above, simple possession typically carries lower penalties while possession with intent to deliver or distribute is a more serious offense with stiffer penalties.
This is why it is important to consider your legal options and see how you can plead for lower charges. For first and second drug offenses, for instance, drug-related cases are typically deferred to Idaho Drug Courts. In these specialized courts, it is possible to have your charges significantly reduced by enrolling in drug treatment courts. A good lawyer can help you explore these options.
Consult a Drug Possession Defense Lawyer in Boise, ID
If you have been charged with a drug possession offense in Boise, Idaho, we can help you. It is critically important to work with a professional lawyer after you have been charged with such a crime. Here at Aaron Hooper, Attorney at Law, we can help you put up a solid defense and seek lower penalties. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may even be able to help you get the charges dismissed altogether. Call us today for a free consultation with our lawyers.