Cocaine comes from the coca plant, which is native to South America. It is often made into a white or brown powder and snorted or injected. However, since cocaine can harm health, residents of Little Rock, Arkansas, can face stiff penalties if they are caught with it.
Overview of Arkansas cocaine laws
Arkansas has six classes of drug penalties, ranging from Schedules I to VI, which are grouped according to addiction risk. Schedule I substances such as heroin and LSD, and Schedule VI have no established medical use and the highest risk of addiction. Cocaine and methamphetamine fall under Schedule II, but they carry separate charges from other Schedule II substances.
Many controlled substances listed in the Schedules are legal, but they must be dispensed by a licensed health care professional. Arkansas’s DUI laws also prohibit driving while impaired on a controlled substance when it interferes with their judgement and coordination. However, criminal defense may argue against the reliability of chemical testing or enforce the prosecution to prove it is an illegal substance.
A first offense cocaine possession of four ounces or less commonly includes penalties of up to one year in jail and a maximum $2500 fine. Possession of two grams or less commonly counts as a Class B, C, or D, felony, depending on the amount. Trafficking 500 pounds or more is commonly a felony charge carrying up to 40 years of jail and a $15,000 fine.
Enhanced penalties may apply if an offender got caught near a drug-free zone, such as a park, church, or school. Arkansas also applies extended or doubled jail terms for repeat offenders and inmates in a detention facility.
Drug charges often have long-term consequences, but getting charged doesn’t mean guilt. Some valid defenses may get the charges dropped or reduced to a lesser offense with a plea bargain.