The trafficking, sale, and possession of cocaine are illegal in all states (and under federal drug laws). Cocaine is classified as either a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance in most states, meaning it has a relatively high potential for abuse and also carries the stiffest penalties for violations.
While some states impose harsh prison sentences for even simple possession of small amounts of the drug, a growing number of states has implemented drug courts as an alternative to prison for non-violent offenders who agree to enter drug rehabilitation. While federal law also prohibits illicit drugs, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) focuses primarily on organized crime and interstate cases.
Rhode Island Cocaine Laws at a Glance
Rhode Island imposes lesser sentences for individuals who plead no contest ("nolo contendere") to minor cocaine charges, whereby the offender completes 100 hours of community service and a drug education program. The state also has lighter sentences for convicted drug dealers who are drug dependent than for those who are not.
Drug courts offer non-violent drug offenders the option of entering drug rehabilitation and submitting to regular drug testing instead of serving prison time. Find out if a drug court program is available in your county.
Additional details of Rhode Island's cocaine laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section to learn more.
|Code Section||21-28-4.01, et seq.|
|Possession||Nolo contendere pleas: 100 hrs. community service and drug education program; Up to 1 oz.: 3 yrs. and/or $500 to $5000; 1 oz.-1 kg.: 10-50 yrs. and/or $10,000-$50,000; Over 1 kg.: 20 yrs. to life and $25,000 to $1,000,000|
|Sale||Person not drug dependent: life and/or $10,000 to $500,000; Drug dependent: 30 yrs. and or $3000 to $100,000; 1 kg.: minimum 10-50 yrs. and/or $10,000 to $500,000; Over 1 kg.: 20 yrs.-life and/or $25,000-$1,000,000; Sale to minor or 3 yrs. junior: minimum 15 yrs. and up to $500,000; Within 300 yds. of school: double penalties|
|Drug Court Available?||Yes (see Rhode Island Superior Court: Adult Drug Court)|
Note: State laws may change or be overruled at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of new legislation, and other methods. You may want to contact a Rhode Island drug crime attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Rhode Island Cocaine Laws: Related Resources
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