Most people charged with drug possession in Oregon are encountering the criminal justice for the first time. But whether this is your first or your third run-in with the law, it doesn’t get any easier and the penalties certainly don’t get any less serious. Drug possession charges have the potential to dramatically impact your life. Addressing them with the help of a local defense lawyer can help to minimize this impact.
In most drug possession cases, the charges were levied after the police conducted an unplanned search. Whether you were pulled over and consented to a search or if you were under arrest for something else and the cops found drugs, the police must always follow strict guidelines in regards to your personal rights. If they sidestep these rights while conducting the search or executing your arrest, there’s a chance the evidence could be suppressed and the entire case thrown out.
A criminal defense attorney is your advocate in the system, there to ensure your rights are protected and that you have the most favorable outcome possible. They understand how one mistake by the police could benefit you in the long run.
A conviction under Oregon drug possession laws doesn’t only carry the potential for jail time and fines, it could cause untold damage to your personal life. From putting strain on your relationships to costing your job, the potential repercussions are numerous.
Oregon Drug Possession – Laws & Penalties
Under Oregon law, the charge and penalty you face for possession of drugs depends on the drug you were caught with. The chart below represents some of the more common possession charges and their maximum sentences:
|Heroin, LSD||Class B felony||Up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines|
|Cocaine, methadone, methamphetamines||Class C felony||Up to 5 years in prison and $100,000 in fines|
|Steroids, some prescription drugs||Class A misdemeanor||Up to 1 year in jail and $2,500 in fines|
Ref: OR. Rev Stat. §475
As you can see, the potential penalties for possession can be fairly significant.
Oregon Marijuana Possession Laws
In November, 2014, Oregon voters passed Measure 91, a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana.
It officially goes into effect on July 1, 2015, at which point possession and cultivation of cannabis by adults will be legal.
The new law allows adults to
- possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana.
- grow up to 4 marijuana plants in a single household.
- give away (not sell) up to an ounce of marijuana, or 16 ounces of marijuana product, or 72 ounces of marijuana products in liquid
Official legal retailers and dispensaries may take a while to open. Marijuana sales will be under the control of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and are scheduled to start accepting retailer applications on 1/4/16.
Current Marijuana Laws in Oregon
Until the new law officially goes into effect, you can still be charged with possession for more than an an ounce. Whether police are interested in bringing these charges is an open question.
|Marijuana, more than 1 ounce||Class B Felony||Up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines|
|Marijuana, less than 1 ounce||Violation (non criminal)||$500 to $1,000 fine|
Even if you are only charged with possession of 2 ounces of marijuana, the Oregon criminal courts could decide to make an example out of you.
Discussing your case with a local criminal defense lawyer can help put your charges in perspective and assist you in developing a plan of action.