Cocaine is an illegal drug across the U.S., but this wasn’t always the case, a hundred years ago, it wasn’t regulated. Today, Mississippi and every other state have cocaine (including powder or rock forms) listed as a “controlled substance.” Controlled substances are divided into different schedules from 1 at the top for most dangerous (plus marijuana, which critics argue is a political rather than scientific placement) to 5 at the bottom for the least addictive drugs with the most legitimate, beneficial uses. Cocaine is a Schedule II drug based on its addictive properties and uses.
Mississippi, like federal law, divides its drug laws into crimes and penalties for Schedule I and II (heroin, cocaine, marijuana, etc.) and Schedule III-V drugs (ketamine, alprazolam, pregabalin, etc.). The following chart explains the Mississippi cocaine laws.
||Mississippi Code Sections
||The penalty for possession of cocaine (not to sell it) in Mississippi depends on the amount of coke in the defendant’s possession:
- Under 0.1 gram of coke, is a misdemeanor penalized by less than 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- For 0.1 to 2 grams, it’s a felony that you can get no more than 3 years and a fine of up to $50,000
- For 2 to 10 grams, the penalty is up to 8 years and up to a $250,000 fine
- For 10 to 30 grams, it’s 3 to 20 years and not more than a $500,000
If you have over 30 grams of coke when you’re arrested, you’ll be tried for trafficking cocaine.
||Mississippi drug laws are highly discretionary for knowingly or intentionally selling, bartering, manufacturing, or possessing with the intent to sell. The penalties are also based on the amount of coke:
- Less than 2 grams, not more than 8 years and a $50,000 fine
- From 2 to 10 grams, not less than 3 nor more than 20 years and at most a $250,000 fine
- Over 10 grams, the sentence is from 5 to 30 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine
In addition to selling drugs being illegally, selling paraphernalia or items to be used with drugs (if you should reasonably know that’s the purpose of the item) is also illegal. For example, selling a crack pipe to use with crack cocaine is illegal. This is a misdemeanor that can get you up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine usually. If a person over 18 sells to a child under 18, who’s at least 3 years younger, it’s a misdemeanor that you can go to jail for up t 1 year and a fine of up to $1,000.
Knowingly or intentionally receiving money derived from drug sales and financing or investing in felony drug offenses are both illegal. The penalty is not more than 5 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine or both.
||Trafficking in controlled substances means either more than 30 grams of coke in your possession or to have three or more selling offenses in a 12-month period or having 30 grams of coke to sell. However, prior convictions can’t be used to establish trafficking (that could be double jeopardy which the U.S. constitution prohibits). If you’re found guilty of trafficking cocaine, you can get life in prison without suspension or parole, the mandatory minimum is 10 years. In addition, you’ll be fined between $5,000 and $1,000,000.
However, this section doesn’t apply to informants who help arrest or prosecute other violators of these drug laws. This is likely to encourage taking down an entire drug ring, rather than only a few members.
If you’ve been charged with a cocaine-related drug crime, it’s important to immediately seek the assistance of an experienced Mississippi drug crime defense lawyer. If you can’t afford an attorney, ask the court for a public defender. It’s good to seek experienced counsel for the best possible defense.
Note: State criminal laws change regularly, so you should contact a criminal defense lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these laws.
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