How To Know If Your First-Time Drug Offense Will Lead To Jail Time

If you have never been arrested for a drug crime, you might wonder if you will have to spend some time in jail for possession of a controlled substance. This depends on several factors and one of the factors that might play the largest role is whether you hire a drug crime lawyer from a place like Epstein & Robbins.

State-Specific Drug Enforcement Policies

Some states have much tougher drug laws than other states. You will always want to consult with a drug crime lawyer who is licensed to practice in the state in which you were arrested for drug crimes.

Drug Court

In some states, the prisons are overcrowded and you might participate in a drug court instead of a traditional courtroom. If this is the case, the primary focus will be on making sure that you are rehabilitated rather than sending you to prison. You will need to participate in several months of treatment sessions and will also need to comply with random drug testing requirements.

Mitigating Factors

There are aggravating and mitigating factors that can ultimately affect whether you will spend time in jail. Some drugs are considered more serious than others. For example, possession of marijuana is less likely to lead to serious penalties. Also, the quantity of the drugs you are found with will affect how serious your charges will be.

In some cases, a police officer might even arrest you for drug residue. However, this is much less likely to lead to serious charges and you might even be able to have your charges dropped entirely with the help of a drug crime attorney.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

If you are in possession of a large quantity, you may not only be charged with possession but also with intent to distribute. Under these circumstances, you will need to prove that you did not intend to distribute the drugs in your possession.

Prior Convictions

While this might be your first drug offense, it might not be your first crime. The more crimes you commit, the more likely it is that you will be expected to spend some time in jail. Therefore, it's important to always hire an attorney and attempt to beat your charges.


If you are able to avoid going to jail, you may be required to be under probation. You will need to follow several other laws such as avoiding possessing firearms and you'll need to avoid committing crimes. Then, you will be able to avoid jail time as a first-time offender.