Providence Drug Possession Lawyer

If you’re facing drug possession charges in Providence, Rhode Island, securing the assistance of a qualified criminal defense lawyer is critical. While a simple possession charge might not sound like that big of a deal, it can actually carry penalties that are quite severe – including jail time. 

Our attorneys have decades of legal experience and will do whatever it takes to help you get the best possible outcome. For help with a drug possession charge, contact Manosh Payette Criminal Defense Attorneys. Call (401) 854-7794 to schedule a free consultation with a Providence drug possession lawyer. 

How Manosh Payette Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If You’re Arrested For Drug Possession

How Manosh Payette Criminal Defense Attorneys, Can Help If You’re Arrested For Drug Possession

Facing criminal charges in Providence, RI, is undoubtedly an overwhelming experience. It’s fraught with uncertainty and confusion, which makes it absolutely critical to work with an experienced Providence criminal defense lawyer. If you choose us, here’s how we can help you:

Free Case Evaluation

During our first free meeting, we will listen as you explain exactly what happened. Once we have more details, we can provide our initial response and help you determine what steps to take next.

Investigation

We thoroughly review evidence turned over by the prosecution while simultaneously engaging in our own comprehensive investigation to collect evidence. Our goal is to find information that will help prove your innocence or highlight mistakes made by the prosecutor that we can use in your defense. 

Negotiation with Prosecutors

We have the experience to navigate communications and negotiations with the prosecutor assigned to your case. The goal is to get charges reduced, dropped, or have your case accepted into a diversion program

Trial if Necessary

In situations where negotiating a plea deal isn’t possible or not in your best interest, we won’t hesitate to go to trial. We’ll prepare your case for this scenario, crafting a compelling defense strategy and representing you aggressively in court. 

If you’re facing drug possession charges in Providence, Rhode Island, Manosh Payette Criminal Defense Attorneys, is here to help. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.

Overview of Drug Possession Laws in Rhode Island 

In Rhode Island, understanding drug possession law is crucial if you want to navigate the system effectively. 

Under current Rhode Island law, illegal activities include manufacturing, selling, giving away, or possessing a controlled substance. A controlled substance refers to any drug or chemical regulated under the guidelines set forth in the state’s Uniform Controlled Substance Act – ranging from strictly illegal substances like cocaine and methamphetamine to prescription medications such as Oxycodone.

Controlled substances are categorized by schedules according to their potential for abuse and their accepted medical use. Regardless of the schedule, possessing any controlled substance without proper authorization can lead to criminal charges.

Additionally, possessing controlled substances isn’t just about having them physically on your person; you can be found guilty based on “constructive possession.”

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession is a legal theory used by prosecutors to charge individuals not in physical possession of a controlled substance. It comes into play if drugs are found nearby and within your control, – for example, in your car or home. 

For the court to find you guilty based on constructive possession, the prosecutor needs to prove both that you knew about the controlled substance’s existence and that you intended to maintain dominion or control over it.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Providence, Rhode Island? 

There has been a significant shift in Rhode Island’s approach towards controlled substance possession, highlighting a broader trend toward criminal justice reform, especially concerning drug offenses.

Previously treated as felonies, which could severely impact an individual’s life due to the stigma of a felony conviction as well as the possibility of lengthy prison sentences and large fines, simple possession charges now result in less severe penalties. This change applies to substances like cocaine or heroin when found in quantities of 10 grams or less.

If you find yourself charged under this revised law for simple possession, it is classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. The consequences include up to 2 years imprisonment and/or fines reaching up to $5,000.

Possession of More Than 10 Grams of Certain Substances

If you are facing charges for possession of more than 10 grams but less than one ounce of a controlled substance in Rhode Island, excluding certain drugs like buprenorphine and marijuana, you are facing felony charges and could be sentenced to up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession

If you’re 21 years or older and found in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, you’re looking at non-criminal consequences. Specifically, for the first two violations within an 18-month period, this entails a civil penalty of $150 along with forfeiture of the marijuana.

However, possessing more than two ounces of marijuana outside your primary residence elevates the situation significantly. In such cases, the charges escalate to a misdemeanor offense which opens up the possibility of prison time and/or fines or possibly both. 

While drug possession penalties are not as serious as they used to be in some circumstances, it’s still highly advisable for anyone facing any type of drug charges to seek legal counsel immediately.

What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Arrested for Drug Possession in Providence?  

Being arrested for drug possession is likely to leave you feeling scared and overwhelmed. However, it’s important to realize that all is not lost – a criminal charge does not mean you are guilty. There are several defenses your attorney could effectively use, and some of the most common include the following:

No Possession

This defense is most often used when you are charged with constructive possession and asserts that while the drugs were found in your vicinity, they do not belong to you. For example, if drugs were found in a car you share with someone else or in the living room of a shared house, this could be an effective legal strategy. 

Illegal Search and Seizure

Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, people have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means the police need an appropriate cause or a warrant to search you or your belongings.

If law enforcement illegally searches you or your property and finds a controlled substance, your attorney can file a motion to suppress to try to have this evidence excluded from trial. This means the prosecutor wouldn’t be allowed to use it against you. 

If the motion is successful, the prosecutor may have no choice but to drop the charges if they have no other evidence of illegal activity. 

Diversion Program

Instead of going to trial, a lawyer can try to get you into a diversion program. These programs are alternatives to the typical criminal justice process. You are usually required to enroll in drug education classes and treatment as well as community service. 

If you abide by all the rules the court sets forth as part of the program, your charges will then be dismissed, and you won’t have a criminal record. 

Entrapment

Entrapment is another defense your attorney might consider if you’re charged with drug possession. Entrapment occurs when the authorities persuade or coerce someone into committing a crime they would otherwise not have committed. 

Using this defense essentially means arguing that there was improper law enforcement conduct. Entrapment is a difficult defense to raise successfully, but it’s not impossible.

Ultimately, your attorney will review your case and determine what defense they think would be most effective. 

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Drug Crimes Lawyer in Providence

Facing drug possession charges is an overwhelming experience, as these can lead to serious penalties, affecting not just your freedom but your future opportunities as well. 

Let the experienced lawyers at Manosh Payette Criminal Defense Attorneys, guide you through the complex legal process and fight for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Providence drug possession lawyer.