Possessing cocaine is a serious charge. In most states, cocaine possession is much harsher than for possession of other drugs. If you or a loved one is charged with possession of cocaine, it is important to understand how charges can be placed and the penalties involved for possession.
Categorization of possession of cocaine charges
Firstly, charges will be placed on the weight of the cocaine. The higher the weight, the higher the charge. Cocaine can be packaged as crack rocks or in a powdered form. If the defendant has packaged the cocaine for distribution, the punishment can be increased to the intent to deliver or distribute. Apart from this charges will vary on the purity of the cocaine. If the cocaine has a higher degree of purity, the court will assume that the defendant has a closer connection to the original source of distribution.
How charges are placed
Lower levels of possession of cocaine can range from 5 years of automatic probation to 5 years in prison. The higher the amount of cocaine, the longer the punishment, some cases have seen defendants being subjected to 99 years of imprisonment. The charges can increase if possession is coupled with possession within a drug free zone (around a school), having a firearm, having a child present when the drug was consumed, and the purity level of the cocaine. Most states will have different penalties for straight possession and possession with an intent to distribute.