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Can You Go To Jail For Possession Of Drugs?

The short answer is yes. You can go to jail for a conviction of drug possession in Iowa. The state’s law enforcement is tough on drug violations. Possessing one of the several substances banned by federal and Iowa law could land a person in jail. If you are contending with an arrest and are facing charges for possession, manufacturing, prescription fraud, distribution or trafficking, you may think there is little hope. Do not fret. Even if the police say they found drugs on your person, you can fight the charges.

Call Lombardi & Miler Law Firm PLLC in West Des Moines immediately after your arrest or if you believe you are under investigation for suspicion of a drug offense. Our legal team has the experience and legal knowledge to defend you if you face drug charges and other criminal offenses. We will help you understand the laws surrounding your arrest and provide guidance for making choices in the days to come.

What Is The Penalty For Drug Possession In Iowa?

  • A conviction for any possession charge can result in jail time. The following are potential penalties for drug possession in Iowa:
  • A first offense is a misdemeanor but can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,560, plus surcharge fees
  • The second offense is also a misdemeanor, with penalties of up to a two-year sentence and fines up to $8,540, plus surcharge fees
  • The third offense, and any offense after, is a felony, with a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,245, plus surcharge fees
    • A third conviction for marijuana possession is treated as an aggravated misdemeanor, potentially leading to up to two years in prison and/or fines. In contrast, a third offense involving controlled substances other than marijuana is classified as a class “D” felony, carrying harsher penalties, including up to 5 years in prison and higher fines​

Jail time, fines and probation are not the only possible consequences of a drug conviction. You will also have a criminal record for the rest of your life that may prevent you from getting certain jobs or pursuing educational opportunities.

Actual Possession Vs. Constructive Possession

The Iowa Controlled Substances Act and the federal Controlled Substances Act make it illegal to possess any of the narcotics that the respective legislative bodies have chosen to ban, including heroin, cocaine, crack, meth and LSD (acid), unless the person has a legally valid prescription or other legal justification.

However, possession is not limited to having the drug in your pocket or purse. Having the drug on your person is called “actual possession.” Prosecutors, however, can also seek charges for “constructive possession.”

Constructive possession means the drugs were found where the suspect had exclusive control. For instance, narcotics in the trunk of a car may not be within reaching distance of the driver, but prosecutors will argue that the driver was the only person who could have put them there and the only person with control over them. The same argument may apply to drugs in your glove compartment, luggage or dresser drawer.

We Defend Clients Who Are Facing Drug Crime Charges In Iowa

There are many defenses for drug crimes, including lack of knowledge or illegal search and seizure. We build a strong defense strategy for our clients, including exploring options for drug court programs involving rehabilitation and diversion programs.

One of your many constitutional rights is the right to a fair trial. Our focus is helping you understand – and protecting – all of your rights. We thoroughly prepare your defense and fight aggressively in court.

Contact Our Drug Crime Attorneys Today

Be sure to get knowledgeable legal representation. Call Lombardi & Miler Law Firm PLLC today at 515-402-3452 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our drug crime attorneys in West Des Moines.