A jury convicted a Manchester, New Hampshire man of drug trafficking this week. Police came to the man’s house after he was shot during a home invasion. When police asked to search the premises, the man refused. Police obtained a search warrant and found 5.5 ounces of crack cocaine, as well as $600 cash in a safe within the home.
The man represented himself in court, remarking in his opening statement to the jury that the police would not be able to prove that he possessed any drugs. Ultimately, that same jury convicted the man on the charge of trafficking crack cocaine. Due to the fact that he has prior possession charges, the man could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Drug Possession in New Hampshire
The possession of illegal drugs in New Hampshire is governed by the several sections of the Controlled Drug Act. According to New Hampshire law it is unlawful for any person to:
- have under his control;
- administer; or
- transport or possess
“with intent to sell, dispense, or compound any controlled drug, or controlled drug analog, or any preparation containing a controlled drug,” unless specifically authorized under New Hampshire law.
What is a Controlled Drug?
The revised statutes in New Hampshire state that “Controlled drugs” mean any drug or substance which is subject to a scheduling class by the drug commissioner of the department of health. When considering whether or not a substance should be scheduled, the commissioner looks to the following factors:
- “Actual or relative potential for abuse;
- Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known;
- State of current scientific knowledge regarding the substance;
- History and current pattern of abuse;
- Scope, duration, and significance of abuse;
- Risk to the public health;
- Potential of the substance to produce psychic or physical dependence liability; and
- Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this chapter.”
Penalties for the Possession of a Controlled Drug in New Hampshire
Drug possession penalties in New Hampshire depend on the type of drug, the amount of the drug, and the intent of the person in possession of the controlled drug. In the case of the convicted Manchester man, his possession of crack cocaine may carry the following penalties:
- A maximum of 30 years in prison (or life in prison for a repeat offender); or
- Up to $500,000 in fines; or
- A combination of both prison time and fines;
Possession of controlled drugs with the intent to sell lead to much more serious penalties. Intent to sell will typically increase jail time and any possible fines associated with the penalty.
New Hampshire Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
The criminal defense attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. are dedicated and compassionate and fight hard to get the most favorable outcome for our clients. Do not simply accept a drug charge. Contact the criminal defense lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. and secure your future today!