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Drug offenses are one of the most widely prosecuted crimes in both Idaho and Federal Courts. The Idaho criminal justice system is clogged with alleged drug offenders, and judges are trying to find ways to keep some, such as those caught for drug possession, out of the overcrowded jails. With the help of an experienced attorney, people accused of drug possession can often get alternatives to jail, such as rehabilitation or Drug Court.

We work hard in each drug case to get the best possible outcome.

Types of Drug Charges

In Idaho, there are many different levels of drug charges, ranging from possession of small amounts of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor, to large-scale distribution. Some of the more common charges are:

  • Drug possession
  • Possession for sale, sales, intent to sell
  • Trafficking
  • Paraphernalia possession

The above can apply to a wide range of controlled substances, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines.

Consequences

If you are caught for drug possession, the range of punishment is determined by the quantity and purpose of possession, such as possession for sale rather than possession for use. A conviction can get you anything from probation to lengthy prison sentences, depending on the type and quantity of drugs, your prior criminal record, whether sales occurred in a school zone, etc. As mentioned before, there are alternatives to jail time in some cases. In Idaho we now have Drug Courts. Once successfully completed, the drug charge is dismissed. The defendant thus gets a new start on life, free of any criminal record.

Defense Against Drug Charges

Of course, it is always possible to try to get the charges dismissed entirely. Generally, these cases are defended by making a motion in court to suppress the evidence based on lack of a warrant, lack of probable cause, or illegal search and seizure. These motions are called “suppression motions”. They are brought forth when there is a violation of the person’s Fourth Amendment rights. When these motions are granted in a drug case, it almost always results in the case being dismissed.

This prosecution must also prove each and every essential element of possession. If the prosecutor cannot prove each of the following, the defendant is not guilty. The elements are:

  • Dominion and control of the substance. Mere presence at the scene is not sufficient
  • Possession for sale also requires a specific intent to sell it
  • Knowledge of its presence