Delaware has long been a hub of shipping traffic, not all of it legal. Cocaine was one of the First State’s major drug threats through much of the ‘90’s and remains the first or second-most heavily trafficked illegal drug. Due to the violence surrounding cocaine trafficking, distribution, and use, Delaware authorities crack down heavily on the possession and sale of cocaine, in both powder and rock form. This is a brief overview of cocaine laws in Delaware.
State Cocaine Laws
The possession, sale, or trafficking of cocaine is a felony crime in most states. Possession of a small amount of the drug can lead to severe punishments, even for juveniles. For instance, the statute states that even if the seller is under the age of 16 there is a mandatory sentence of 1 year. Delaware cocaine laws are similar to cocaine laws in other states, going up in severity and punishment with multiple offenses.
Cocaine Statutes in Delaware
The charges and penalties under Delaware cocaine laws are listed below.
||Tit. 16 §4701, et seq. 4751, 4753A
||Possession, use, consumption: Class A misdemeanor. If applicable, can be subject to First Offenders Controlled Substances Diversion Program (§4764)
||Class C felony: $5,000-$50,000; If not addicted: felony, mandatory 6 yrs.; To a minor: Class C felony; if under 16, mandatory 1 yr. prison; On school property: up to 15 yrs. and $250,000; Subsequent offense: if not addicted: mandatory 12 yrs.; Where death as a result involved: Class B felony-$10,000-$100,000 fine; If person knowingly purchases from a minor: Class C felony; (More severe penalties if near school §4767-68); If the seller is under the age of 16 there is a mandatory sentence of 1 year. not subject to suspension/probation/pardon; If seller is under the age of 14 mandatory sentence of 2 years
||If on any single occasion one has: 10 grams or more: class B felony; 10-50 g.: 2 yrs. minimum and $50,000; 50-100 g.: 4 yrs. minimum and $100,000; More than 100 g.: 8 yrs. minimum and $400,000
Cocaine is regulated not just by Delaware as a state, but at the federal level as well. Federal drug laws prohibit everything from simple cocaine possession all the way from manufacturing and cultivation to trafficking and distribution. Drug convictions in general can carry severe penalties and for cocaine especially. As seen above, the penalties can vary depending on whether you have prior drug convictions and the quantity of drugs involved.
It is possible that some prosecutors could offer a plea bargain to a lower-level offender in exchange for help building a case against higher-level producers and dealers. And some jurisdictions now have specialized “drug courts” that can help first or second-time drug crime defendants avoid a jail sentence and instead spend time in treatment or other options.
Delaware Cocaine Laws: Related Resources
Social norms regarding drugs, and the state laws that reflect them, are constantly changing. You can visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section for additional resources and introductory information. If you would like legal help regarding a drug case or in understanding local drug laws, you can contact a Delaware drug crime attorney.