It is possible to face jail time of between 5 and 60 days for possessing any amount of marijuana (up to 30 grams) on a second or subsequent conviction within two years.
It is also possible to face jail time if you are caught with marijuana in your vehicle. Possessing between one and 30 grams of marijuana in a vehicle, such as in a glove compartment, can result in a fine up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. This does not apply to marijuana found in a vehicle’s trunk (Miss. Ann. Code § 41-29-139(c)(2)(B)).
On a first conviction for possessing a small amount of marijuana (up to 30 grams), you face a fine of $100 to $250. You also face a 6-month driver's license suspension with any marijuana possession conviction, even if the charges are unrelated to driving (Miss. Ann. Code § 63-1-71(1)).
As you can see, while many states have legalized marijuana use, this is far from being the case in Mississippi. If you have been charged with any type of drug possession crime, you will need to carefully weigh your options.
Why it’s important to fight marijuana possession charges, even on a first offense
If you have never been convicted of marijuana in the past, you may be thinking that you should just plead guilty, pay the fine and accept the license suspension, but this is not a good idea. Here’s why:
The stakes are much, much higher on subsequent offenses.
As stated above, if you end up being charged again you will face the very real possibility of going to jail for up to 90 days. Not only that, the potential fine is much more significant. Having a first conviction on your record should be avoided at all costs.
You will have a permanent, drug-related criminal record.
Your criminal record could prevent you from getting jobs, qualifying for loans or even finding a place to live. A criminal record, especially one that is drug related, can stand in the way of your future.
Getting your driver’s license back is expensive and burdensome.
You don’t realize how dependent you are on your vehicle until you lose your license. Getting to school, work and everywhere else you need to go becomes a huge challenge. Continuing to drive with a suspended license only results in more criminal charges. Additionally, you will have to pay a fee to reinstate your suspended license.
Why your best option is working with a lawyer to fight the drug possession charges
The best option when facing drug charges such as marijuana possession is to work with a criminal defense lawyer who can evaluate your case and give you advice on how to reach the best possible outcome in your case.
There is a reason why people who hire lawyers end up getting a better outcome than those who do not -- it pays to understand the law and how potential consequences can be minimized.