Receiving any type of drug charge can have serious consequences for your future. For example, you might face heavy fines, prison time, and difficulties finding employment. Of course, it’s best to avoid illegal substances entirely.
However, if you or a loved one have run into legal difficulties regarding controlled substances, it’s best to be completely informed about the ramifications you may be facing.
How are drugs classified in Arkansas?
Illegal substances in Arkansas are classified by a number of factors.
Different substances are labeled with different schedules. These schedules are based on a drug’s potential for abuse and addiction, in addition to valid medical use.
Schedule I drugs are considered the most serious due to a high likelihood of abuse and no valid medical purpose. In Arkansas, these drugs include cocaine, heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. A drug charge involving Schedule I drugs may have more serious consequences than a charge involving drugs from a lower schedule.
There are six total schedules in Arkansas. For reference, Schedule II drugs include amphetamines (including methamphetamine) and opium. Schedule III drugs include barbiturates and anabolic steroids; Schedule IV drugs include benzodiazepines.
Schedule V drugs include pseudoephedrine (a nasal decongestant sometimes used as an ingredient in manufacturing methamphetamine). Finally, Schedule VI drugs include marijuana and salvia.
What are the different types of drug charges in Arkansas?
Understanding the various levels of criminal drug charges within the state of Arkansas can be a little confusing, since the factors involved can be complicated.
However, it’s a basic rule of thumb that if a large amount of drugs from a higher schedule have been found in your possession, you’ll be looking at more serious charges than a small amount of a lower-schedule drug.
What is considered drug possession in Arkansas?
A drug charge is labeled “possession” if there’s no indication that you intended to sell or distribute the drugs in question. Even if you’re not explicitly caught selling drugs, law enforcement officers can deduce “intent” by a number of other factors, including the amount in your possession.
If you’ve been charged with possession of drugs from any schedule, you might be looking at felony charges, with a few notable exceptions.
For the most part, the only possession charges that result in a misdemeanor, rather than a felony, are as follows:
- Possession of less than 2 grams of a Schedule III drug
- Possession of less than 28 grams of a Schedule IV or V controlled substance
- Possession of less than 4 ounces of a Schedule VI drug.
Other drug charges are likely to result in felony charges, with the class of felony determined by the schedule of the substance in question.
What is considered drug trafficking in Arkansas?
Drug trafficking is a term used to refer to an individual’s intent to import, distribute or sell a large amount of controlled substances.
The main difference between drug possession and drug trafficking charges in the state of Arkansas will be determined by the amount of drugs found in your possession.
The particulars will differ from case to case, but a general guide to the amount of substances required for a trafficking charge is as follows:
- Schedule I or II drugs: 200 grams or more
- Schedule III drugs: 400 grams or more
- Schedule IV or V drugs: 800 grams or more
- Schedule VI drugs: 500 pounds or more
What do I do if I’m facing drug possession or trafficking charges?
The very first thing you should do if law enforcement has found illegal, controlled substances in your possession: seek legal counsel immediately.
Experienced attorneys, like those at the Digby Law Firm, can help you understand the charges you might be facing, follow all court proceedings appropriately, and use their knowledge to protect your rights and freedoms.