Understanding Marijuana Drug Possession Laws in Rhode Island

If you have been charged with marijuana drug possession in Rhode Island, it is important to understand that state laws have changed significantly over the past several years. However, that doesn't mean you are automatically guilty of the charge against you. The burden of proof is still on the prosecution to prove a charge of marijuana drug possession. The criminal defense attorneys at Rameaka Law Offices Inc. work with people in your situation every day. Before we create a defense strategy, we make sure that our clients understand state law regarding the possession of marijuana.

Rhode Island Marijuana Laws

State legislature passed a law in June 2012 that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. The law went into effect on April 1, 2013. Adults may possess up to one ounce of marijuana, but they are subject to a fine of $150 if caught with it. Due to the changes in state law, it is no longer a misdemeanor to possess one ounce of marijuana or less. People caught with larger amounts face up to one year in jail, 100 hours of community service, or forced participation in drug education classes.

The penalty may be doubled for people with a prior marijuana conviction on their record. Driving with marijuana in the system means an automatic driver's license suspension for at least six months. Those caught with one or more kilogram of marijuana on their person face 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

Under Your Control

What many people fail to understand is that marijuana does not have to be on their person to be charged with possession. If the arresting officer feels that the drug was under your control, you can still be charged. This means it could have been next to you on the sidewalk, in your home, or in your car. It may not have even been yours. 

You Have Rights

When you are charged with a drug crime, you have the right to hire an attorney to defend yourself. You also don't have to say anything that might incriminate you. Please contact us at Rameaka Law Offices Inc. to learn more about your rights.