Minimum Drug Sentencing Laws in New Mexico
Drug crime charges in New Mexico are not to be taken lightly. Upon conviction of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, for a second or subsequent offense, you face penalties of $100 to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. Even with a first offense, you could still spend up to 15 days in jail and pay a fine of $50 to $100.
The severity of the penalties for drug crimes in New Mexico depends on several factors: the type of drug, the amount of the drug, and the nature of the crime (possession, sales or distribution, trafficking, manufacturing, or cultivation). If the drug crime you are accused of committing is charged as a felony, you may be subject to mandatory enhanced sentencing for a second or subsequent offense under New Mexico’s habitual offender laws.
New Mexico Penalties for Possession of Marijuana
Marijuana is in a class of its own for purposes of possession penalties in New Mexico. The charges and penalties you face depend on the amount of pot in your possession:
- One ounce or less is a petty misdemeanor and carries penalties of up to 15 days in jail and $50 to $100 in fines for a first offense; and a misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail and $100 to $1,000 in fines for a second or subsequent offense.
- More than one ounce and less than eight ounces is a misdemeanor. Penalties are up to one year of jail time and $100 to $1,000 in fines.
- Eight ounces or more is a fourth degree felony carrying severe penalties of 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Penalties for Possessing Drugs Other Than Marijuana in New Mexico
The most dangerous controlled substances carry the most severe penalties for possession. This includes all Schedule I and Schedule II drugs under the New Mexico Controlled Substances Act. Included in this category are drugs such as cocaine, heroin, GHB, crack cocaine, meth, PCP, and many others.
Possession of any amount of these controlled substances is charged as a fourth degree felony. The sentence for a fourth degree felony conviction for a noncapital crime under NMSA 1978 Section 31-18-15 is 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Possession of all other controlled substances is charged as a misdemeanor in New Mexico, with penalties of up to one year of jail time and $100 to $1,000 in fines.
Criminal Defense Against Drug Charges in New Mexico
If you or your family member has been arrested for a drug crime, immediately call an experienced New Mexico drug crime lawyer. Your future is at stake, and the attorney you choose to represent you can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
At New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, our Albuquerque criminal defense attorneys have more than 22 years of experience and a successful track record defending clients all over New Mexico against a range of criminal charges including drug crimes. Contact us for aggressive representation and dedication to pursuing the best possible results in your case.