Derived from the coca plant, cocaine acts as a powerful and dangerously addictive stimulant. Popularized in the 80's, possibly in thanks to media attention and hype, cocaine is illegal under federal and all state laws. It is even illegal to consume the coca leaf in the United States if the intent is to obtain a high or stimulation similar to that gained through cocaine use.
While distribution and manufacturing offenses for cocaine can certainly be quite severe – including years of jail time and hefty fines that range from $1,000 and up – possession charges are the most common. If you are charged for possession of cocaine, it is important to understand what sort of drug possession is being alleged.
If you are holding an illicit substance – such as cocaine – and know both that it is illegal and that you are holding it, this is considered simple possession. If you do not retain a professional drug defense attorney, losing to a simple possession charge is more than likely.
More difficult to prove and easier to overturn than a simple possession charge, constructive possession of cocaine claims that an individual was aware that illegal quantities of cocaine were in existence somewhere and that the individual had intent to use or distribute it. Constructive possession does not require the individual to actually be holding any amount of cocaine to be charged.
There is also disparity in punishment based on the form of cocaine you were holding at the time of alleged possession. Crack cocaine typically carries punishments up to 18 times worse than that of powder cocaine, despite the fact that both substances are chemically identical.
With constructive possession and a major difference between crack and powder cocaine punishments, the system must be questioned and those accused deserve proper defense against charges. At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia, we have always been dedicated to giving the greatest level of service and satisfaction to our clients in criminal defense cases. If you are facing a charge that you believe should be contested or dismissed, you need to seek our counsel as soon as you possible.
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