Drug Possession Laws Albuquerque, NM

Drug possession is taken very seriously in the state of New Mexico. Those charged can face significant penalties if convicted, including jail time and fines. That’s why it’s so crucial to work with an experienced Albuquerque attorney to assist you throughout the legal proceedings.

My name is Angela Arellanes and I’ve been an attorney for over two decades. My firm, Angela Arellanes Law, has extensive experience with drug possession charges, and we believe in providing clients with as much information as possible. This ensures that you’re fully aware of the charges against you, which will enable you to make the right decisions during your case.

I have the experience and commitment to defend clients against serious criminal charges. Contact my firm today for more information or call (505) 247-2417 to schedule a consultation.

New Mexico Classifies Drugs According to Schedules

Drugs, both legal and illegal, are categorized in different schedules based on their potential for abuse and dependence. The higher the schedule, the more dangerous the drug (and the higher the penalty associated with it). Drugs are categorized into five schedules:

  • Schedule I – This class has the highest abuse potential; therefore these drugs have no accepted medical usage and cannot be obtained legally. Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana (see exception below).
  • Schedule II – Schedule II drugs, such as methadone and codeine, do have accepted medical uses. However, their potential for abuse and dependence makes them hazardous to public health.
  • Schedule III – These drugs have a minimal risk of abuse and dependence. They include Vicodin, ketamine, and suboxone.
  • Schedule IV – This class includes medications that have a potential for abuse but are significantly lower risk than other scheduled substances. Schedule IV drugs include Xanax and Valium.
  • Schedule V – These drugs have the least potential for abuse and dependence and are available over the counter as a result. Cough syrup containing codeine is an example of a schedule V drug.

Marijuana is considered a schedule I drug according to the federal government. However, it’s legal for medicinal purposes in New Mexico. That means that you must have a valid prescription from a doctor to legally use the drug in the state.

Possible Penalties for Drug Possession

The penalties for drug possession vary according to the type of substance, the amount of the substance, and many other factors. In general, a person convicted of drug possession in New Mexico could face a minimum of 18 months in prison, as well as a fine ranging between $100 and $1,000.

Then there are the collateral consequences that can result from a felony conviction. In this case, a person may have difficulty securing housing and employment, which can make for a very uncertain future. Additionally, students will have difficulty obtaining student loans and financial aid.

Why You Must Have the Assistance of an Experienced Lawyer

An experienced firm will be fully apprised of the pertinent laws and regulations surrounding your charge. From there, your criminal defense attorney can develop a strong defense to get the charges against you mitigated. That way, you can satisfy the requirements of the court and get on with your life.

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