All states enact laws against controlled substances because of the dangers to the public. The varying degrees of drug charges, such as possession, selling and trafficking, come with different penalties as a result of a conviction. Even the offense of possession in Mississippi can carry some stiff penalties.
Overview of possession
Mississippi divides drug charges based on a classification of substances, Schedules I to V, according to the risk of addiction. Schedule I substances, such as heroin and LSD, have the highest addiction risk with no valid medical use. Schedules II to V substances commonly decrease in addiction risk and often include some legal prescriptions.
Mississippi law defines possession as knowingly and illegally having a controlled substance without a valid prescription and the compounds to make them. Simple possession commonly refers to having controlled substances on the person or control of them without intent to sell.
Penalties for simple possession
Possessing one-tenth of a gram or less of Schedule I and II commonly includes penalties of up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. One-tenth of a gram is equal to two dosage units, or one-millimeter tablets or capsules in a liquid mixture, or a stamp or square for LSD.
Being convicted of possession of one dosage of Schedule I or II includes penalties of up to four years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Possession of 100 doses or less of Schedule III to V substances carries a penalty of a maximum of one year in jail and a maximum $250 fine. A person can also face up to a $500 fine and six months of jail for possessing drug paraphernalia used to manufacture illegal substances.
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the defendant knowingly and willingly controlled the substances. A person charged with possession may use valid defenses like not knowing about the drugs to fight the charges.