Laws forbid the buying and selling of cocaine in Mississippi and in all U.S. states. Cocaine is an addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant found in South America. The federal government considers it a controlled substance, so anyone caught selling it could face penalties.
Penalties for selling cocaine
Drugs are classified according to Schedules I to V based on the addictive potential and risk to health. Cocaine is classified under Schedule II drugs, which may cause serious dependence. States base drug charges on various factors, but the selling of cocaine is commonly charged as a felony.
A defendant found with 30 grams or less of cocaine could face three to eight years in jail and up to a $3,000 fine for a first offense. Amounts between 30 and 250 grams commonly include a penalty of up to five years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. Getting caught selling drugs to a minor or within 1,500 feet of a church or school could increase penalties.
Drug trafficking and paraphernalia
Selling drug paraphernalia, or equipment to use drugs, is against the law in Mississippi. Some common types of drug paraphernalia include clips, needles, folding papers or pipes. Penalties for selling or advertising paraphernalia commonly include a $500 fine and up to five days in jail. Defendants may get a $1,000 fine and a year of jail time for selling paraphernalia to a minor.
Drug trafficking means selling, cultivating or distributing controlled substances without a license. To get charged with trafficking, the defendant must have 30 grams or more and three selling offenses within 12 months. Trafficking penalties may include fines up to $1 million and up to 10 years in jail.
Prosecutors have two years to file cases for various drug crimes. However, a defendant should immediately seek legal help to devise strategies for fighting the charges.