According to the Rhode Island State Police Department, there were 4410 total drug violations recorded in 2010 throughout the state. Police and prosecutors aggressively pursue cases involving the illegal use of drugs (“controlled substances”), whether those drugs are illegal by definition or if they are prescription drugs used in an illegal manner (“club drugs”).
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. Criminal investigations become a rush to judgment. Often times, constitutional and other legal rights of the defendant are trampled or ignored. Attorney Grasso has successfully defended unlawful searches and seizures.
Many drug-related cases involve three very critical events all involving the police: a STOP, a SEARCH, and an ARREST. If you have been charged with a drug crime, you need a competent attorney 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.
Rhode Island Penalties for Cocaine and Marijuana Drug-Related Crimes
(If any of above cocaine crimes are committed within 300 yards of a school, the penalties are doubled.)
Possession of Marijuana
(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
- likely drug education classes and community service
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.