Mississippi divides controlled substances into schedules depending on how hazardous the drug is and whether it has a recognized medical benefit. Penalties for drug possession vary by schedule, amount of the substance, prior convictions and other factors.
If you face possession charges, learn about the potential penalties prior to your court date.
Schedule I and II substances
Examples of these drugs include LSD and other hallucinogens, MDMA, heroin, prescription opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines, methadone, cocaine, fentanyl, Adderall and Ritalin. Penalties for first-time possession are as follows:
- Up to one dosage unit can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. A misdemeanor carries up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, while a felony has a minimum of one and up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Two to 10 dosage units is a felony that carries two to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
- 10 to 20 dosage units carries four to 16 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
- 20 to 40 dosage units results in six to 24 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000.
- More than 40 dosage units results in 10 to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.
Other controlled substances
Substances in schedules III, IV and V carry reduced penalties for possession. Examples include codeine, ketamine, steroids, prescription drugs such as Xanax and Valium, antidepressants and cough syrup with codeine. Penalties include:
- Up to 100 dosage units: Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- 100 to 500 dosage units: One to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- 150 to 300 dosage units: Two to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000
Penalties increase with prior offenses. Crimes involving minors also result in a longer sentence.