If you are charged with drug possession, you know one thing to be true: You could soon find yourself hit with a serious punishment that impacts your life in many ways. For this reason, you must do whatever you can do avoid a conviction.

Of course, it only makes sense that you want to learn more about the penalty for drug possession. This varies from state to state and is based on a variety of factors. For example, penalties for simple possession range from a small fine to several years in state prison.

In some states, you may be able to take part in drug court, which is a program for defendants that aims to rehabilitate. If you agree to this, you will spend approximately one year attending treatment sessions. Along the way, you will also undergo random drug tests to ensure that you are staying the course. In the event that a person fails to attend a session or tests positive for drugs, he or she could be given a jail sentence.

Some of the factors that influence drug possession penalties include a past record, the type of drug and amount of drug. This goes along with any mandatory minimum sentences.

Knowing the penalty for drug possession is typically more than enough for people to avoid this type of crime. If you are charged, however, you should learn as much as you can about potential punishments. This will give you a better idea of what to expect if convicted, as well as what you can do to avoid serious penalties.

Source: FindLaw, “Drug Possession Penalties and Sentencing,” accessed June 09, 2016