Four Surprising Facts About Cocaine Possession

Cocaine is a potent stimulant that affects the central nervous and cardiac systems. Made illegal after World War I, the possession of cocaine will result in serious penalties. It’s widely known that the possession of this drug is illegal, but there are some other less-commonly known facts that carry a big punch.

As you may know, being found with cocaine will result in an immediate felony charge. Texas lists cocaine as a “Penalty Group 1” drug, which means it is among the group to carry the most severe penalties for possession and distribution. The severity of the penalty is determined by the amount in possession as well as other factors, including intent and drug-type.

1. Higher Volume Means More Jail Time

Jail time will almost always be sentenced with conviction and serves a minimum of 180 days. Yet did you know that prison sentencing is based upon the amount of cocaine in possession? Any amount has a potential fine with a price tag of $10,000. Possession of anywhere between 4 and 200 grams can result in 20 years in prison. Possession of over 200 grams can result in a life sentence.

2. The Intent to Deliver

If a person is found with cocaine in addition to baggies (the bags commonly used to store cocaine), they can also be charged with intent to deliver. It doesn’t matter if the baggies are full or empty if they are in possession with cocaine, the baggies can be used as circumstantial evidence of intent; even if that wasn’t you plan. Harsher jail and fine sentences are invoked with intent to deliver.

3. Felonies Result in Limitation of Rights

You may know that with a felony conviction comes the restriction or denial of certain rights, such as owning and purchasing firearms or serving in the military, but what you may not know is that a conviction for cocaine possession can also result in drivers license suspension. This suspension is generally a minimum of 180 days, and the person is required to participate in a drug education course before his or her license is reinstated.

4. Not All Drugs are Created Equal

In 2010, Congress passed a bill called the Fair Sentencing Act. This legislation effectively reduced the disparity of both charges and sentencing for possessing crack cocaine vs. powder cocaine in the Federal court system. This reduced mandatory minimums for all new charges, and in 2011, the law was made retroactive, allowing for eligible inmates to apply for a shortened sentence.