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When do Arkansas drug offenses lead to felony charges?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Drug Crimes

Pretty much any involvement with a prohibited drug, like heroin, or a controlled substance, like fentanyl, could lead to criminal charges. Arkansas law enforcement agencies can arrest anyone who is found in possession of controlled substances, and the state will prosecute people for simple possession, trafficking, selling or manufacturing controlled substances based on the circumstances at the time of someone’s arrest and their personal history.

There are a broad array of possible charges and penalties possible in an Arkansas drug case. Defendants can face both misdemeanor and felony charges. When is a prosecutor likely to bring felony charges in Arkansas?

Higher amounts of drugs lead to bigger penalties

In general, the lower the schedule number and the higher the weight of the drug found, the more severe the charges and penalties. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous and have no recognized medicinal value, while Schedule II drugs are only lawful to use under the careful supervision of a physician. Other scheduled drugs include those with only some risk of abuse, like psychiatric medication.

When it comes to Schedule I and II drugs, as well as cocaine or methamphetamine, someone only needs to possess any amount for the state to bring a felony charge. The lowest possession offense for under two grams will still result in a felony possession charge.

For Schedule III, IV and V drugs, the amount someone possesses will need to be at least 28 grams, which is roughly an ounce, for the offense to lead to felony charges. For Schedule VI controlled substances or marijuana, someone must possess four ounces or have a prior offense to face felony charges. Those facing accusations of possession with intent to sell, manufacturing or trafficking will often face felony charges.

A guilty plea to a felony could be life-altering

Those who plead guilty to a drug felony in Arkansas will find that it will have a lasting impact on where they work and live. Those who actively seek to defend themselves can avoid the criminal penalties the courts might impose and the consequences of having a criminal record.

Discussing pending drug charges with an Arkansas lawyer can help those who are hoping to avoid a conviction. The stakes of a drug-related criminal situation are simply too high to be managed via a “DIY” approach.