One of the most common drug charges faced by individuals in Iowa and elsewhere is drug possession. While this might seem like a minor offense if one possesses marijuana or a quantity for personal use, any drug crime is a serious offense. However, the penalties associated with drug possession can increase in severity if it is established that the quantity in question gives the presumption of distribution or even trafficking. Thus, a defendant could face a felony charge for possessing a wide variety of illegal substances.
How much equals felony possession of a controlled substance? Because each controlled substance is different, the quantity that calls into question a felony offense is different as well. Take for example cocaine base or crack cocaine. In Iowa, this is considered a Class C felony if one possesses less than or equal to 10 grams. This could result in a penalty of imprisonment not greater than 10 years and a fine between $1,000 and $50,000. Those accused of possessing greater than 50 grams of crack cocaine are charged with a Class B felony, resulting in penalties of up to 50 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $1,000,000.
On the other hand, possession of 100 grams or less of cocaine is considered a Class C felony, resulting in the same potential consequences. A Class B felony for cocaine is when a person possesses greater than 500 grams.
With regards to heroin, the possession of 100 grams or less results in a Class C felony charge and possessing greater than 1 kilogram of heroin results in a Class B felony charge. For marijuana, being in possession of a half ounce or less for the third or subsequent time is considered a Class D felony, carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $7,500.
Being accused of felony drug possession is a serious situation. It could mean harsh penalties, such as imprisonment and hefty fines. Thus, it is important to explore defense options that call into question evidence used against the accused. This could help reduce or even dismiss the charges against the accused.