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Our clients hire us to win. Period.

Recent Case Results

RESULT: Criminal Complaint for OUI Drugs & OUI Alcohol – No Charges. "Client with commercial drivers license taken to hospital afte   read more

RESULT: Open Container – Case Dismissed. "Client charged with vandalism.  Dismissed at trial." Result: Case Dismissed at Trial   read more

RESULT: Open Container – Case Dismissed. "Open container case dismissed.  College student arrested, charged with violating the open con   read more

RESULT: Refusing to Submit to Blood Test – Not Guilty. "Client not guilty of refusing to submit to a blood test after trial.  Client ch   read more

RESULT: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs – Charge Reduced. Client charged with driving under the influence of drugs based on opinion   read more

Aggressive Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

Many drug-related cases involve three very critical events all involving the police:


If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime, you need an experienced Rhode Island drug lawyer skilled in challenging illegal searches and seizures in order to EXCLUDE evidence that the police may have illegally seized from your person, automobile, home, etc.

As a former police officer, Attorney John R. Grasso has a uniquely in depth understanding of the various search and seizure laws that law enforcement officials must abide by when conducting a search of an individual and/or making an arrest.  With a proven record of successfully defending multiple clients against drug charges, the Law Offices of John R. Grasso works diligently to get illegally obtained evidence thrown out in court, and ultimately getting charges reduced or dropped entirely.

If you have been arrested and charged with any state or federal drug crime, Attorney John R. Grasso is committed to providing professional, skilled legal representation in defense of your freedom and will zealously advocate on your behalf so that you may only suffer the absolute minimum consequences, if any at all. Don’t take a chance on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of John R. Grasso today!

Drug Lawyer Rhode Island

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Convictions Have Serious Consequences

If you are convicted of a drug charge, you may face multiple penalties including:

  • Lengthy Jail Time
  • Heavy Fines,
  • Probation,
  • Loss of Income or Employment,
  • Mandatory Drug, Alcohol, and Psychological Counseling


If you are convicted of a drug crime near a school or involving minors, your penalties can double. Having a drug conviction on your record can permanently disqualify from many government and security clearance required jobs.

Defendants facing drug-related criminal charges need an aggressive defense tailored to their particular situation. The government is always anxious to win a drug conviction and criminal investigations often become a rush to judgment. Constitutional and other legal rights of the defendant are sometimes trampled or ignored.

At the Law Offices of John R. Grasso, our experienced Rhode Island drug lawyers have successfully defended clients of federal and state charges including:

Don’t let a drug charge ruin your life! Call the Law Offices of John R. Grasso today for a free consultation as to how our attorneys can defend your freedom and restore your rights!


At the Law Offices of John R. Grasso, we understand that the price of legal representation can be overwhelming.  More importantly, we understand that each case has unique circumstances requiring a unique approach.  This includes the cost of your defense.

With the Law Offices of John R. Grasso we work with you to determine a payment structure that fits your financial needs.


Call our office today at (401) 272-4001 to schedule a free consultation.


Felony crimes carry higher penalties than misdemeanors, and federal drug charges generally have harsher consequences than state drug allegations. In Federal Court, defendants face the imposition of punishment based upon the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  For many years, federal judges uniformly imposed sentences by referencing the crime to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual.

However, in 2005, the United States Supreme Court found that these set, uniform guidelines used by federal judges to impose sentences upon federal defendants were unconstitutional (U.S. v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).) Judges were instructed by the Supreme Court to look at the federal sentencing guidelines as advisory in what sentence to impose on a defendant, and not to consider them as mandatory. As a result, criminal defense attorneys are now allowed to argue for sentencing that is appropriate to the individual and reasonable for the particular case.

If you have been charged with a federal drug-related offense, you need a competent Rhode Island drug attorney who understands the federal court system!

Negotiating a Plea Versus Taking the Case to Trial

Oftentimes, dismissal of charges and/or an agreed upon reduced sentence can be negotiated by an experienced drug attorney early on.

There may be occasions, however, where the best tactic for a drug crime defendant is to compel the prosecution to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt at trial before a jury. If you have been charged with a state or federal drug crime, you need a criminal defense attorney with courtroom experience.

If you or a loved one is facing federal or state drug-related charges, the risk of a faulty defense can be serious incarceration and imprisonment along with the loss of personal assets and imposition of monetary fines.

Call the Law Office of John R. Grasso, Inc. to schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney experienced with state and federal drug charges. Aggressive and expert criminal defense is our exclusive practice.

Call us now, 401-272-4001, or email us now to get our experience and expertise in your defense.

Rhode Island Penalties for Cocaine and Marijuana Charges

Possession of Cocaine

  • Nolo contendere pleas: 100 hrs. community service, drug education program;
  • Up to 1 oz.: 3 yrs. in prison and/or $500 to $5000;
  • 1 oz.-1 kg.: 10-50 yrs. in prison and/or $10,000-$50,000;
  • Over 1 kg.: 20 yrs. to life in prison and $25,000 to $1,000,000

Sale of Cocaine

  • Defendant not drug-dependent: life in prison and/or $10,000 to $500,000;
  • Drug-dependent Defendant: 30 yrs. in prison and or $3000 to $100,000;
    • 1 kg.: minimum 10-50 yrs. in prison and/or $10,000 to $500,000;
    • Over 1 kg.: 20 yrs.-life in prison and/or $25,000-$1,000,000;
  • Sale to minor or 3 yrs. junior: minimum 15 yrs. in prison and up to $500,000;

(If any of above cocaine crimes are committed within 300 yards of a school, the penalties are doubled.)

Possession of Marijuana

  • Possession of Less than 1 kg of Marijuana in RI:
    • Considered Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $200 – $500.
    • If you receive a sentence of probation with no imprisonment, the offender is required to undergo a drug abuse evaluation, attend a drug education course and perform up to 100 hours of community service.
  • Possession 1 kilogram to 5 kilograms of Marijuana in RI:
    • Considered felony marijuana possession and comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years (10) in prison with a maximum of 50 years and a fine of $10,000 – $500,000.
  • Possession of More than 5 kilograms of Marijuana in RI:
    • Considered felony marijuana possession and the penalty is a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years (25) in prison with a maximum of life in prison and a fine of $25,000 – $100,000
  • Sale or possession within 300 yards of a school, public park or playground doubles the possible penalties.

(In addition to these penalties if caught driving while in possession of marijuana this is penalized by automatic suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for six months for the first offense and for one year for subsequent offenses.)

(For sentences of probation with no imprisonment, the offender is required to undergo a drug abuse evaluation, attend a drug education course and perform 100 hours of community service.)

Other Drug Charges and Penalties in Rhode Island

If you are found guilty of any other drug possession charge, schedule I-V, the penalties will vary from substance to substance but are:

  • Fines: $500-$5000
  • Up to 3 years in jail
  • Drug education classes and community service

The most likely presumptive sentence on a possession of a controlled substance conviction is 0-18 months in jail.

A second (2nd) offense drug possession/simple possession charge in Rhode Island will face doubled penalties, over 100 hours of community service, a possible drug abuse program, drug counseling and education.

On any second (2nd) offense drug charge conviction relating to any narcotic drugs, marijuana, depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogenic substances, the defendant is subject to doubling of the jail sentence, fine, or both.

On any third (3rd) offense drug charge conviction as above, the defendant is subject to 3 times the jail sentence, fine, or both.

Possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, GHB, or ecstasy, may have mandatory jail times depending on the quantity of the drugs involved. Additional charges may include possession with intent to sell, transport, cultivate, trafficking or manufacture.

There are also substantial increases in penalties if you are charged with distribution within a school zone (within 300 yards of a park, playground, or school), or selling to minor 3 years younger than yourself.

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  • Bristol
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  • Warren
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“Thank you for going the extra distance in my case.” —LouisLouis

Law Office of John R. Grasso

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Providence, RI 02903

Phone | (401) 272-4001
Fax | (888) 525-2096

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