·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Civil Rights

What to Expect If You’re Arrested for Drug Possession

— May 3, 2019

Arrested for drug possession? This can be a truly terrifying experience. However, you are not without rights. There are things you should and shouldn’t do to protect yourself.

What is a drug schedule? What do you need to know about the different schedules and your rights when arrested for drug possession? What should you expect if arrested for it? What should you do and not do during an arrest? Discover the answers in the following sections. 

Drugs classification 300

What is drug schedule? Drug Schedule is the scheduling of or categorizing drugs, which are classified into five schedules or categories in accordance to the acceptable medical use of the drugs along with each of the drug’s dependency or abuse potential.

Differences between schedules 

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there are five drug schedules in which the lower the number indicates the higher potential for dependence and abuse.

  • Schedule I are considered the most dangerous of all. They also carry the highest risk for dependence and abuse and currently have no valid or accepted medical use. Examples include the diethylamide, lysergic acid and heroin.
  • Schedule II are somewhat dangerous like Schedule I drugs, so their potential for abuse and dependence are also high. But then, they’re distinguished from Schedule I, such as drugs like oxycodone and methadone that can be prescribed legally. A few of them include methamphetamine and cocaine.
  • Schedule III drugs pertain to the group with a lower potential for abuse and dependence. A few examples include anabolic steroids containing less than 15mg of hydrocodone per dosage unit.
  • Schedule IV drugs pose a lower potential for abuse and dependence. Examples include Valium and Xanax.
  • Schedule Vs have the lowest potential for abuse and dependence. Some of them can treat cough, diarrhea and mild pain. Cough medications with less than 200mg of codeine are Schedule V drugs.

Drug scheduling helps the law enforcement agencies to understand the potential risk for abuse and dependence of a certain type of drug. 

It also allows them to determine the consequences for manufacturing and selling them illegally.

Various pills of different colors; image by, via
Various pills of different colors; image by, via

For example, someone guilty of manufacturing a schedule I drug will have a higher sentence than someone found guilty of manufacturing a schedule V drug illegally.

What you shouldn’t do if you arrested?

What you can’t do when arrested? When arrested, you should first give identifying information to the police. It includes your name and age. But, in accordance with the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, remaining silent or keeping your mouth sealed is your inalienable right.

So, if the police start asking you about your case, you should politely tell him that you want to speak when a lawyer is with you. 

You just need to answer the police in a respectful manner. Other things to remember include:

  • Your right to remain silent also applies in writing, so you shouldn’t sign a document during the arrest. Also, you should avoid writing down anything.
  • Do not try to bribe the police officer to avoid weaseling out of the arrest. 
  • Do not drop names or brag about yourself.

What should you do when arrested? 

The first thing to do is to stay calm. 

Do not panic. The arrest does not mean a life sentence. 

You are initially being charged, not yet proven guilty.

Control your emotions. Otherwise, an outburst might result in other criminal charges, including resisting arrest or obstruction of justice. 

Also, you could get hurt if the police use force to subdue you.

Breathe deeply and let the police put the handcuffs on you. 

Be still and calm as you ride to the police station.

Before being placed in a cell, you will be able to get a phone call. Make a phone call to your lawyer or have a loved one or friend get one for you. In this case you might need to contact a drug crime attorney.

During the arraignment for your case, request bail from the court to avoid remaining in a cell while hearing your case.

Your Rights Following A Drug Possession Arrest

Which are your rights? You can go to trial and fight the drug charge if the authorities claim you have committed a drug crime.

The prosecutors at trial will have to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a standard to ensure that you won’t be punished for the crime if you’re innocent.

But in the event that the prosecutors have heavy evidence against you, ask for a plea bargain with the prosecution. Doing so will help lighten the charges against you and lead to a lenient sentence. 

Your lawyer can help in reviewing the case and determining your best course of action based on your arrest’s unique circumstances. For this reason, you should choose the best lawyer who is knowledgeable in drug cases like yours.

Knowing what to expect if arrested for drug possession will help you understand what to do during it as well as your rights. Finally, it will also be good to learn about the different drug schedules for awareness.

Join the conversation!