Arkansas has severe penalties for the possession of illegal drugs, but when the possession of a firearm is also involved those penalties are exponentially increased. If you’ve been charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm, you probably want to know the answers to these main questions: What is the law, what are the penalties upon conviction, and what defenses do I have if I am charged with this crime?
What Does the Law Say About Simultaneous Possession of Drugs & a Firearm?
According to Alabama's statute A.C.A. § 5-74-106, it is illegal to possess both illegal drugs and a firearm or other dangerous weapon. The statute specifically states that simultaneous possession does not apply to misdemeanor drug crimes, only felonies. However, very few drug crimes in Arkansas are misdemeanors.
What Are the Penalties for Simultaneous Possession of Drugs & a Firearm in Arkansas?
If you are arrested for simultaneous possession in Arkansas you will be charged with a Class Y felony. A sentence for a Class Y felony can result in prison time of 10 to 40 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
How Can I Fight a Simultaneous Possession Charge in Arkansas?
As with all criminal cases, the defenses available in a particular case depend on the specific facts and circumstances of that case. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation.
One of the most common defenses is simply that the weapon found was not the Defendant’s. In Arkansas, though, it is not just actual possession that will get you in trouble; there is a concept known as “constructive possession” that courts will apply to find that the weapon, although not physically possessed by the Defendant, was still possessed by him. (3)
As you can see, violations of these statutes can have serious legal consequences; however, aside from the legal consequences you could face, there are a variety of personal and professional consequences to consider.
It is important to remember that each and every case is unique, which unfortunately means there isn’t a singular solution that will work for everyone. This is why consulting with a good lawyer, especially for felony charges that have lingering effects, is extremely important.
Contact Collins, Collins & Ray, P.A. for Aggressive Criminal Defense
Although these are serious charges and should be treated as such, with the right attorney by your side you have a much better chance at navigating through what can be murky legal water.
To learn more about what options you may have, including possible case-specific defenses, contact our attorneys for a free consultation.