All states and the federal government ban cocaine. It’s illegal to possess, sell, and traffic this addictive narcotic drug. Prison sentences and fines also rise when greater quantities are involved in a case – the law imposes steeper penalties on more serious offenders.
Both federal and state court systems handle drug crimes. Generally speaking, the feds prosecute major trafficking cases and cases arising at an international border or point of entry. Stiffer prison terms are a feature of federal drug prosecutions. States normally handle the more numerous smaller drug crimes. This isn’t set in stone though, and drug crimes can be prosecuted in either federal or state court.
Summary of Vermont’s Cocaine Laws
Vermont criminalizes the possession, sale, and trafficking of cocaine. Possession of less than 2.5 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in prison and a $2,000 fine. More severe penalties kick in when more cocaine is involved. Possessing more than 2.5 grams of cocaine is a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and possessing an ounce or more carries a max term of ten years.
Selling, distributing, and trafficking are punished even more severely. Prison terms start at three years for delivery and five years for sale. The maximum term for both tops out at twenty years when an ounce or more is at issue. Trafficking carries the steepest penalties. Anyone possessing 150 grams or more with the intent to sell faces up to thirty years in prison. These gradual increases in sentence severity are meant to ratchet up the penalty for more serious offenders.
The following table breaks down Vermont cocaine laws:
||Tit. 18 § 4231
||Up to 2.5 g.: 1 yr. and/or $2,000; 2.5 g. to 1 oz.: up to 5 yrs. And/or $100,000; 1 oz. or more: up to 10 yrs. and/or $250,000; Subsequent offense: double penalties
||Delivery: 3 yrs. and/or $75,000; Sale: 5 yrs. and/or $100,000; Sale or delivery of: 2.5 g.-1 oz.: 10 yrs. and/or $250,000; Over 1 oz.: 20 yrs. and/or $1,000,000; Subsequent offense: double penalties; Sale to minor or on school grounds: up to 5-10 yrs. and/or $25,000.
||150 g. or more with intent to sell: up to 30 yrs. and/or $1 million (same applies to 60 g. or more of crack cocaine).
Related Resources for Cocaine Laws
You can find more information on state cocaine laws and drug charges here. For specific questions, speaking with a local criminal law attorney might be appropriate.