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5 Things You Need to Know About Wyoming Drug Possession Charges

Illicit drug use continues to be a problem throughout Wyoming. Whether it’s marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, or using prescription drugs for recreational purposes, people who use or sell illegal drugs can be arrested and charged with illegal drug possession

Drug possession is the crime of having illegal drugs, known as “controlled substances” in Wyoming, on your person, in your car, or in your house or apartment. You could possess illegal drugs for personal use, or you might possess illegal drugs to sell them to others. 

If you have been charged with drug possession in Wyoming, it’s important that you hire an experienced drug possession lawyer as quickly as possible. 

Here, we offer 5 things you need to know about Wyoming drug possession charges. 

#1 - Wyoming Classifies Drugs Based on Accepted Medical Use and Likelihood of Addition

Wyoming has classified controlled substances into five categories, or schedules, based on (1) the likelihood of abuse of the drug and (2) whether the drugs have an accepted medical use. Drug classification schedules are as follows:

  • Schedule I – Substances with no accepted medical use, that are unsafe, and hold a high potential for abuse. Examples include heroin, LSD, marijuana, peyote, and ecstasy.
  • Schedule II – Narcotics and stimulants that have a high potential for abuse and cause severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples include Dilaudid, methadone, Demerol, OxyContin, Percocet, morphine, opium, codeine, amphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall), and methamphetamine
  • Schedule III – Drugs with less potential for abuse but that can still lead to moderate or low physical dependence and high psychological dependence. They include Vicodin, Tylenol/Codeine, Suboxone, ketamine, and anabolic steroids.
  • Schedule IV – Drugs with a  lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs such as Xanax, Soma, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, Versed, Restoril, and Halcion.
  • Schedule V – Drugs that contain limited quantities of narcotics, such as cough syrups that contain codeine.

#2 Penalties for Drug Possession Vary Based on the Amount of Controlled Substance in Your Possession

Penalties for possession of a controlled substance vary based on the quantity and type of controlled substance in your possession when you were arrested. 

Small Amounts of Drugs Punishable by Up to 1 Year in Jail and a Fine of Up to $1,000

Penalties for illegal possession of small amounts of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV controlled substance include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. Small amounts of controlled substances are defined as:

  • 3 ounces of less of a controlled substance in plant form
  • 3/10 of a gram or less of a controlled substance in liquid form
  • 3 grams or less of a controlled substance in powder or crystalline form
  • 3 grams or less of a controlled substance in pill or capsule form
  • Less than 5/10 of a gram of crack cocaine
  • Less than 3/10 of a gram of LSD

Schedule I or II Narcotics or Methamphetamine

Possession of more than the amounts described above of a schedule I or II controlled substance or of methamphetamine are punishable by up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to $15,000, or both. 

Other Schedule I, II or III Controlled Substances

Possession of all other schedule I, II, or III controlled substances in amounts greater than those identified above is punishable by up to ten years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. 

Schedule IV Substances

Possession of a schedule IV controlled substance in amounts greater than those identified above  is punishable by up to two years in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. 

Schedule V Controlled Substances

Penalties for illegal possession of any amount of a schedule V controlled substance include up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. 

#3 You Might Be Eligible for Probation 

If you were arrested in possession of a fairly small amount of controlled substance and are not a repeat offender, you might be eligible for a diversion program instead of taking your case to trial.

Participants in Wyoming’s diversion program must complete a rehabilitation program and pay fines and court costs. Once you successfully complete the diversion program, the charges against you will be dropped and will not appear on your criminal record. 

Successful diversion participants must have a sincere desire to remain drug-free. If you do not successfully complete the diversion program, the charges against you will be reinstated. 

#4 Federal Drug Crimes Carry Harsher Penalties

If you are facing federal drug possession charges you face harsher penalties. 

The most common federal drug crime is drug trafficking drugs across state borders. Federal drug crimes typically include charges of distribution, trafficking, manufacturing, or cultivating drugs in violation of federal law. 

Federal drug crimes carry much harsher penalties, including higher fines and longer jail sentences. They are almost always charged as felonies. 

#5 Penalties Are Higher for Manufacturing, Delivering, or Possessing a Controlled Substance With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver

Depending on the amount of drugs in your possession, you might have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver. 

Drug possession with intent to manufacture or deliver is punished even more severely.

  • Possession of a schedule I or II substance or a narcotic is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both
  • Possession of other schedule I, II, or III substances is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both
  • Possession of a schedule IV substance is punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both
  • Possession of a schedule V substance is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both   

A Wyoming Drug Possession Lawyer Can Help

At Just Criminal Law, my team of criminal defense professionals is here to help people accused of drug possession crimes in Wyoming. 

In some instances, a Wyoming drug possession lawyer can help steer you through the diversion program and have the case against you dropped.

In other cases it makes the most sense to fight the case on its merits. 

At Just Criminal Law, we will thoroughly investigate the charges against you and make recommendations on how to proceed. Based on years of experience we have found that the best way to fight a Wyoming drug possession charge is to handle the case aggressively, making multiple requests for documents, witness statements, and other evidence the state has against you.  

We can also challenge the manner in which the evidence was obtained, such as by challenging whether the officer had probable cause to stop you in the first place, lacked probable cause to make the arrest, that the search was illegal or the warrant invalid, or that evidence was not handled properly. 

While every situation is unique, our commitment to our clients never wavers. We will work hard to defend you against Wyoming drug possession charges with the goal of negotiating a plea bargain, having the charges against you reduced, or even having the case against you thrown out. 

Contact Just Criminal Law Today

Wyoming drug possession charges can carry harsh penalties. That’s why you need a team of experienced Wyoming drug possession defense professionals on your side. 

Contact us today by calling 307-686-6556, email inquiry@justcriminallaw.com, or complete our online form.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

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