Drug Crime Attorneys in Little Rock
Legal Guidance in Arkansas with offices in little rock, Mountain Home, & Texarkana
The best way to beat a drug possession charge is to negotiate from a position of power, knowledge, and, most of all, experience. The team at Collins, Collins & Ray has represented people with varying degrees of drug charges for almost 20 years. From one gram of illegal marijuana in someone’s pocket to a full ton of cocaine concealed in a tractor-trailer, we have seen it all and are adept at representing one-time users or those with a history of charges. Our experience extends to both state and federal courts, and we have ample experience dealing with all manner of law enforcement investigators such as the DEA, ATF, FBI, and local sheriffs’ offices.
If you have been arrested, let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you! Contact our drug crime lawyers in Little Rock now!
Arkansas Drug Law
Under Arkansas law, illegal controlled substances include not just the well-known drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, but also mushrooms, ecstasy, oxycontin, MDMA, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, valium, benzodiazepines, Adderall, clonazepam, and other prescription drugs — all of which our attorneys have handled in various cases.
Drugs are classified into schedules I-VI based on their dependency level, addictiveness, and possible medical use. The higher the schedule, the more severe the penalty for a felony or misdemeanor. The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors will depend upon the quantity as well as the schedule of illegal substance found.
Penalties for Felony Drug Possession in Arkansas
A felony can carry significantly higher penalties than a misdemeanor, including larger fines and longer time in a prison. Other penalties include loss of basic rights such as the right to vote, possess a firearm, or sit on a jury.
The penalties for felony drug possession include:
- Class Y felony: 10 to 40 years or life in prison; fine amount is decided by the court
- Class A felony: Six to 30 years; up to $15,000
- Class B felony: Five to 20 years; up to $15,000
- Class C felony: Three to 10 years; up to $10,000
- Class D felony: Up to six years; up to $10,000
Penalties for Misdemeanor Drug Possession in Arkansas
A misdemeanor is less severe than a felony but can still pose a major problem due to the possibility of substantial time spent in the county jail.
The penalties for misdemeanor drug possession include:
- Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year; up to $2,500
- Class B misdemeanor: Up to 90 days; up to $1,000
- Class C misdemeanor: Up to 30 days; up to $500
All drug convictions (misdemeanor or felony) result in a six-month driver’s license suspension, regardless of whether the drugs that you were accused of possessing were found in the car.
How an Attorney Can Help
It can be frightening to handle a drug possession case on your own, which is why you need an experienced attorney to stand behind you. At Collins, Collins & Ray, we have helped countless people keep their license, stay out of jail, and avoid the harsh legal and extralegal consequences of one small mistake.
Drug Possession Defenses
We will explore all possible defenses of your drug case. During our extensive legal investigations, we take painstaking care to look over the drug recognition expert’s evaluation and police reports. Our attention to detail allows us to focus on the facts that make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Get started today by calling us at (501) 392-5007 or reaching out online.
AY Magazine’s Arkansas Best Lawyers: Brian Ray 2020, 2021
American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys – 10 Best Client Satisfaction: John C. Collins 2016
Arkansas Life Magazine’s – Top Attorneys: John C. Collins 2016, 2019
Some possible defenses to drug crimes include:
- The drugs in question might not actually belong to the defendant.
- The defendant was not aware that the drugs were even in their possession — for example, if the drugs were concealed without their knowledge in their backpack or car.
- There was an issue with law enforcement’s handling of the case.
- The police did not have a valid reason to search the defendant or pull them over. Therefore, the evidence gathered may be inadmissible.
- The statements and confessions were obtained through coercion.
Only an experienced attorney like those at Collins, Collins & Ray can choose the correct strategic defense for your situation, giving you the best chances for deferral, dismissal, or lesser charges. We will even take your case to trial to avoid a conviction so you can move on with your life after this ordeal. Our attorneys have a reputation for being aggressive litigators in the courtroom and, with hundreds of hours of courtroom experience, we can provide uncompromising legal representation.
Contact Us if You Have Been Accused of a Drug Crime
The attorneys at Collins, Collins & Ray help people prepare for the challenges that lie ahead when they have been arrested.
Contact Collins, Collins & Ray now for a FREE consultation to see how we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 7 drug categories for the DRE evaluation?
- CNS Depressants – this category is made up of drugs like Clonazepam, Xanax, Soma, Ambien, barbiturates, tranquilizers, methaqualones, etc…
- CNS Stimulants – this category consists of Amphetatmines, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, etc…
- Hallucinogens – this is mushrooms, peyote, acid, etc…
- Dissociative Anesthetics – PCP, sherm, embalming fluid, etc…
- Narcotic Analgesics – heroin, oxycontin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, morphine, roxycontin, etc…
- Inhalants – Anesthetic gases, aerosols, volatile gases, gasoline, Freon, dust off, etc…
- Cannabis – The Devil’s Lettuce, Weed, Pot, Marijuana, Hashish, oils, wax, etc…
What is the definition of a drug?
The definition under Arkansas law is: Controlled substance means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through VI. The fact that any person charged with a violation of this act is or has been entitled to use that drug or controlled substance under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this act;
The definition of a drug in the DRE protocol is: Any substance, which when taken into the human body, can impair the ability of the person to operate a vehicle safely. Keep in mind this is an extremely broad definition.
What equipment does a Drug Recognition Expert use to do a drug evaluation?
- Sphygmomanometer (Blood pressure cuff)
- Thermometer: oral, digital, with disposable covers.
- Penlight: low power, medical style.
- Magnifying light: generally five to ten magnification power, similar to those used by stamp collectors and model builders.
- Pen or Pencil: used to conduct eye examinations.
- Evidence containers: for blood or urine
- Protective gloves, latex and/or rubber.
What are the steps of the Drug Recognition Expert protocol?
Step 1: The police officer must first check to see if the person arrested has a blood alcohol concentration of .08% of higher by administering a breath test. If the person is .08% or higher the exam stops and the person is arrested for DWI Alcohol. If the person registers below the legal limit the officers keep looking.
Step 2: The second step is to interview arresting officer. This sounds much more formal than the reality of it. It, generally, consists of the DRE asking the arresting police officer what happened and why he/she was called over to do an evaluation. It would often relate to whether the person admitted drug use, were drugs found in the car, was there paraphernalia, etc…
Step 3: The preliminary examination is simply the officer asking a number of “qualifying” questions about when they last went to the doctor, what medications they take, what medical conditions they have, and other questions that may lead the DRE to determine that there should be a medical rule out.
Step 4: This step is where DREs examine the eyes by conducting the horizontal gaze nystagmus, vertical gaze nystagmus, and check for a lack of convergence. Don’t worry if you are not sure what that means. Our attorneys are very versed in all of these tests and the multitude of causes for each.
Step 5: Next officers get the arrested person to perform the divided attention tests. These are the tradition tests (nine step heel to toe and standing on 1 leg) but with the addition of the finger to nose and Rhomberg (a test where the person closes their eyes and tilts their head back) tests.
Step 6: The DRE would then check the arrested person's vitals by recording the person's BP, heart rate, and body temperature. The heart rate should be checked a total of three times at different intervals.
Step 7: The DRE must also do a darkroom examination of pupil size in various lighting conditions (this part also includes an examination of the nasal and oral cavities).
Step 8: Next is a check of the arrested persons muscle tone. The DRE will list the muscle tone as Rigid, Flaccid, or Near Normal. Notice there is no category for normal. This test is also very subjective in that there are no standards to determine rigidity vs flaccidity.
Step 9: The DRE must check for injection sites. The DRE is looking for fresh puncture makes and scarring from previous use.
Step 10: This step is crucial in that it requires the officer to ask what the person what they are impaired by. These statements are often the most damning because the person is giving up their right to remain silent, often are simply admitting the medication they are prescribed and not at all intending to admit they are impaired by that medication.
Step 11: The DRE then takes all the information they have received and form an opinion. The police officer will name the drug category they believe the person is impaired by or will determine the person is not impaired by a drug.
Step 12: The final step is to do a urine or blood test to confirm that drugs are in the arrested person’s system. The presence of drugs does not mean the person is impaired by the drug. Each drug has its own half-life and can show up for hours or days after the effects of the drug have dissipated. For example, marijuana can stay in urine for up to 45 days but no one could argue a person would be impaired for 45 days.