In April of 2013, the laws regarding marijuana possession changed for the state of Rhode Island. The state made the decision to decriminalize small ounces of marijuana. The specifics regarding this change will be outlined below, however even though marijuana has been decriminalized, it is still not legal. You still face severe penalties if you are found to have marijuana in your possession.
The possible penalties you face for marijuana possession are outlined below, however your personal consequences will largely depend on how much marijuana you had in your possession and how many prior offenses you’ve had. If you’d like to know exactly what you could be facing, please contact our office for a consultation.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Rhode Island
As mentioned, Rhode Island decriminalized marijuana possession back in April of 2013. If you are found to be in possession of small ounces of marijuana, specifically one ounce or less, it will be treated as a civil offense. Having this amount of marijuana in your possession will require you to pay a fine of $150 and you will have to hand over any marijuana in your possession to law enforcement.
If you are found to be in possession of over one ounce of marijuana, it’s considered a misdemeanor charge. For this quantity, the likely penalty in the state of Rhode Island includes the possibility of up to one year in jail. You also face hefty fines, which could range up to $500. You may also be required to complete a drug counseling course and community service, which will be determined based on your case.
The possession of one to five kilograms of marijuana is considered a felony marijuana possession in Rhode Island. The penalties you face if you’re found to be in possession of this quantity increase significantly. You will face a minimum of 10 years in prison, but there’s the possibly you could receive up to a 50-year prison sentence. You will also face costly fines that could be as high as $500,000.
If you are in possession of more than five kilograms of marijuana, it is also considered to be a felony. In the state of Rhode Island, you will be required to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison. However, there is the possibility you could face life in prison as a result of this crime. The fines for this offense can up to $100,000.
Any juvenile who is found to be in possession of marijuana will have to attend a drug awareness class and complete a set amount of hours of community service. If you are found to be in possession of marijuana and it is not your first offense, you will likely face 100 hours of community service and will be required to complete drug abuse counseling as well. The penalties you face for a second offense could be double what you’ve read above, while a third offense could even be triple. Rhode Island does not take marijuana possession lightly.
If you are found to be selling or in possession of marijuana within 300 yards of a school zone, the aforementioned penalties may be doubled. Possession of marijuana while driving can result in a suspended license for six months.
The most severe penalties come if you are found to be growing marijuana or are in possession with the intent to distribute. You face a lengthy jail sentence and fines upwards of a thousand dollars for your first offense alone for either of these crimes. The penalties you face can seriously alter the course of your life, so it’s important to seek legal representation.
What We Can Do For You
As an experienced Rhode Island marijuana lawyer, our law firm is committed to protecting your rights and aims to lower any possible penalties you may face. If you or someone you know has been arrested for any kind of marijuana-related offense, please contact our office right away for a consultation.
We know just how severe the penalties you face are and we know they can have a negative impact on your life. For that reason, it’s imperative you seek legal representation immediately after being arrested. We will review your unique case and outline the best possible defense to decrease the punishments you are facing.