Where the Mississippi police catch you with something they think is a prohibited drug, they will almost certainly arrest you and then try to charge you with a crime. Drug possession is a common offense, but it is also one that can have a lasting impact on your options in life.
Even a possession charge could have lasting consequences, but you may find that the circumstances of your arrest give the police reason to increase the charges you face or the penalties. What are three scenarios where you might face more than just simple possession charges?
When the police find drug paraphernalia
It is illegal to possess tools used to store, prepare or consume illegal drugs. If police find drug paraphernalia in your possession, they will seize those objects along with the drugs when they arrest you.
The possession of any paraphernalia is a separate offense from drug possession. You could face a secondary misdemeanor charge over accessories ranging from glass pipes to syringes. The maximum penalty for a possession of paraphernalia charge could be up to six months in jail and fines of up to $500.
When you have items that make it seem like you intend to distribute the drugs
Not all of the items that police would classify as drug paraphernalia play a role in the consumption of drugs. Some common household items might make you look like a drug dealer rather than a drug user.
Having a small digital scale or a postage scale on your person along with drugs might make police officers suspect you have an intent to distribute even if you likely just hope to protect yourself from untrustworthy drug dealers. Having what police could argue is separate packaging for drugs, such as multiple plastic baggies or even disposable straws might lead to allegations that you possessed those drugs with the intent to distribute them.
When you have too many drugs to claim personal use
If the police catch you with a substantial amount of one drug or multiple kinds of drugs, they are more likely to suspect that you intend to distribute those drugs to others than in cases where you have a small amount of one substance. Even if they don’t catch you in the act of selling the drug to someone else, they might charge you with possession with intent to distribute, which would carry much more serious criminal consequences than simple possession charges under Mississippi law.
Understanding why police have been so aggressive in the drug charges they filed could help you plan a defense.