Drug Possession

Drug charges in Rhode Island are always serious but can vary greatly depending on the drug involved and the amount of the drug recovered.  Rhode Island General Law § 21-28-4.01 make it unlawful to possess, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance.  The statute can refer to any drug or combination of drugs, including but not limited to: cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, prescription pain killers, crack, acid, and more.  I discuss the laws relating to marijuana possession on another page.

The penalties for violating this Statute include:
•    A non drug addicted person who violates the statute with a Schedule I or Schedule II drug (described below), except marijuana, faces a prison sentence up to Life and/or fined up to $500,000;
•    A drug addicted person who violates the statute with a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, faces imprisonment up to thirty (30) years and/or fined up to $100,000;
•    Any person convicted under this statute with a Schedule III or Schedule IV drug faces up to twenty (20) years in prison and/or fined $20,000;
•    As for a Schedule V drug, the convicted person faces up to one (1) year in prison and/or $10,000 fine;
•    The statute lists additional violations and penalties.

Additional charges and penalties can be increased for selling, intent to sell, selling near a school yard, selling to a person under 18, larceny of a controlled substance, etc.

Rhode Island law identifies with great detail which drugs fall under each Schedule and this will determine the seriousness of the charges and penalties that you are facing.  Many common dangerous drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and cocaine derivatives, opiates, fall into Schedule I.  

Rhode Island General Law § 21-28-2.08 identifies all drugs and places them into the appropriate Schedule.