What Happens if You’re Arrested for Drug Possession in New Mexico?
New Mexico is not different from other states. They have strict regulations when it comes to controlled substances and dangerous substances. New Mexico classifies well-known drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, and even cocaine as controlled dangerous substances (CDS), but they also classify the compounds used to create these drugs as CDS, too – meaning that carrying any of those compounds could be considered possession. If you have been arrested for drug possession, you could face serious penalties. Worse, the state may be able to charge you with the sale or manufacture of a CDS if you are in possession of the compounds or equipment as well.
What is a Controlled Substance?
There are five schedules for controlled substances in New Mexico, which include:
- Schedule I – This is the most dangerous type of drug out there and includes a high probability of abuse or addiction. There is no medical value to these medications/drugs.
- Schedule II through IV – These gradually decrease in the probability of addiction, and some are even approved for medical use.
- Schedule V – The probability of abuse or addiction is extremely low; some of these products are sold over-the-counter and are easily obtained through medical prescriptions.
Penalties for Being in Possession of a CDS
It is illegal for anyone to possess a CDS without a valid medical prescription. If you cannot furnish a prescription, then you could be arrested for illegal drug possession and face serious consequences. The consequences will depend on the type of CDS that you are in possession of, as well as the amount (quantity). Just some penalties include:
- Schedule I, II, III or IV CDS – This does not include methamphetamines or other CDS. If you are in possession of a schedule I through IV CDS, you could face a fine of at least $500 and up to $1,000. You can also encounter up to a one-year jail sentence in addition to the fine, or in substitution of it.
- Methamphetamine and Other CDS Specific Drugs – This includes drugs like gamma butylated, GHB, flunitrazepam, PCP and 1-4 butane. If you are arrested while in possession of these drugs, you could face a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
- CDS Within a Drug-Free School Zone – There are enhanced penalties for possessing drugs within a drug-free school zone. If you are caught with a Schedule I through IV in a school zone, you could face up to $5,000 in fines and up to 18 months in prison. If you are in possession of phencyclidine, you could face up to $5,000 in fines and as many as three years in prison.
Drug Possession Charges Are Serious – Speak with an Attorney
If you have been arrested for drug possession in the state of New Mexico, do not take the arrest lightly. You need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to work out your defense and preserve your freedom. New Mexico courts do not take lightly to drug possession – and the prosecutors will often find ways to tag on additional, more serious charges, such as possession with the intent to sell or distribute. Therefore, if you have been arrested, you could potentially face thousands in fines and years in prison. Contact the defense attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to explore your options. Schedule a free case evaluation at 505-375-4664, or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.