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4 Myths About Drug Crimes and Punishment in Delaware


These days, anyone with a computer, smartphone, and access to the internet can get a wealth of information, on almost any topic, with a quick Google search. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of regulations regarding the accuracy and details of what turns up when you rely on the World Wide Web for some types of subject matter. One of the biggest problems is in the area of criminal law in Delaware, where myths, falsehoods, and misconceptions can lead well-intentioned individuals astray. Without credible, exact information, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble.

The problem of inaccuracies in criminal law is especially pronounced in drug offenses, since state law is notoriously convoluted and confusing. While you should always count on your Wilmington drug crime defense lawyer for reliable information, it is important to debunk a few myths about drug offenses and penalties in Delaware.

Myth #1: It is legal to possess small amounts of marijuana. Despite the fact that Delaware has decriminalized pot for personal use and approved it for medical use, it is still unlawful to be in possession of ANY amount. If you are arrested with less than one ounce, you may still receive a civil penalty with a maximum fine of $100. The implications seem minor, but note that:

  • The statute only applies to private use, not using marijuana in a public area;
  • Fines increase with subsequent offenses, and you may be sentenced to jail time; and,
  • Though the civil penalty does not appear on your criminal record, it is considered for purposes of subsequent violations of the law.

Myth #2: The amount of a controlled substance is less serious than the type in drug crimes cases. Both type and quantity are important when it comes to the nature of the offense, since Delaware drug laws work according to a system of tiers. Generally, the most dangerous the drug and the higher the weight, the more serious the drug charges you will face. 

Myth #3: Aggravating factors only apply to robbery, assault, and other violent crimes. Many people hear the term “aggravated” in connection with violent offenses, but the presence of certain factors can also affect a drug crimes case. The penalties are increased for when the offense occurred:

  • Near a school, park, or place of worship;
  • In a vehicle; or,
  • When a child was present.

Myth #4: I cannot be arrested if I have no drugs on my person. This is a misconception because police can still charge you for substances found in your vehicle, a bag, or a place where you have control over the contents. Plus, you may be arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, which can be a felony in some situations. 

Trust a Delaware Drug Crime Defense Attorney to Handle Your Case

While this information debunks some of the myths about drug offenses, there are many more legal details and subtleties when it comes to defending yourself against charges. To learn how our team can assist in fighting a drug crimes case, please contact Wilmington drug crime defense attorney Michael W. Modica. You can schedule a consultation at our offices by calling 302.600.1262 or checking out our website.


By submitting this form I acknowledge that form submissions via this website do not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

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