The first time you’re convicted of possessing marijuana in Iowa, the charge will be a serious misdemeanor — as long as you don’t have prior convictions for possession of other controlled substances, tax stamp violations, or precursor violations.
If you have prior convictions but not prior possession of marijuana convictions, figuring out exactly what you’re facing might be a little daunting. I made a flowchart to simplify things:
For a charge of possession of marijuana, first offense, Iowa Code 124.401(5) provides that if it is charged as a serious misdemeanor, you’re facing a fine of up to $1000 and/or up to 6 months of jail time.
As with all criminal fines, a 35% surcharge applies. Additionally, Iowa Code 911.3 demands a “law enforcement initiative surcharge” of another $125 if you’re found guilty or accept a deferred judgment.
Even if this is the first time that you have been charged with possession of marijuana, your charge can be enhanced to an aggravated misdemeanor if you have previously been convicted of possessing another controlled substance, a violation of precursor laws (Chapter 124B,) or a tax stamp rule violation (Chapter 453B.) If you have been convicted two or more times of possessing a controlled substance or violating precursor or tax stamp laws, your first offense Marijuana Possession charge will be a Class “D” felony.
If you are convicted of first offense marijuana possession, the Court will sentence you to at least 48 hours in jail. That sentence can be suspended. If the sentence is suspended, the court will put you on probation. If you’re placed on probation for this, you will have to submit to random drug testing.
It’s possible that you will be eligible for a deferred judgment if convicted.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship.
If you want to talk to me about representing you on your first offense marijuana possession charge in Iowa, contact us at (515) 491 6128 and we’ll set up a time to talk.