Being charged with any crime, including drug possession can alter the course of your life. Facing jail time, fines, and a criminal record can be frightening. Whether this is your first confrontation with the justice system or if you’ve had scrapes with the law before, knowing what you’re up against and having someone on your side can make all the difference in the world.
New Mexico drug laws are not designed to get help for people who have drug problems, they are designed to penalize people who violate them. This is the unfortunate reality of
Though each case is unique, the basics and maximum penalties of drug possession laws under New Mexico’s state statutes are outlined as follows.
Marijuana Possession Laws
New Mexico may have a medical marijuana program, but that doesn’t mean law enforcement is lenient to those caught with pot. The charge you face and the potential penalties depend largely on how much marijuana you are caught with.
One ounce or less: If you are caught with one ounce or less of marijuana and it is your first offense, you will face a petty misdemeanor charge, which carries a fine of $50 to $100 and no more than 15 days in jail. If this is your second or subsequent offense, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and face fines of $100 to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
One ounce – eight ounces: If you are caught with more than a single ounce but less than eight ounces, you will be charged with a misdemeanor offense and face fines of $100 to $1,000 and jail time of up to one year.
Eight ounces or more: If you are charged with possessing eight ounces or more of marijuana, you will face a felony charge. This fourth-degree felony offense carries up to $5,000 in fines and 18 months in prison.
Possession of Methamphetamine, GHB, Cocaine, Heroin
The most serious controlled substances, including those classified as Schedule I or Schedule II under the controlled substances act, are included here. Among others, this includes: cocaine, crack-cocaine, heroin, meth, GHB, PCP, and more.
If you are charged with possessing one of these substances, you will face 4th degree felony charges, along with up to $5,000 in fines and 18 months in prison.
Possession of all other Controlled Substances
All other controlled substances, including many illegal prescription drugs are included here. If you are caught in possession these controlled substances, you will be faced with a misdemeanor offense, and up to one year in jail and fines from $500 to $1,000.
A drug possession charge does not have to ruin your life. With the help of a local New Mexico criminal defense lawyer, you could be eligible for diversion programs, drug treatment, or other sentencing alternatives that are available in some cases, and could give you a chance to avoid the worst penalties and permanent criminal record.