All states regulate and control the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for their possession. Idaho considers not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine to be controlled substances, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.
Some CDS, like the common painkiller oxycodone, can be possessed legally with a valid prescription.
Idaho divides its CDS into six “schedules” based on factors such as their potential for abuse and dependence, and whether they are approved for legitimate medical use:
To understand the charges and penalties you might face, look at the charging document in your case (usually called either a complaint or “information”, or, if from a grand jury, an indictment). Identify the name of the drugs specified in the document, consult the schedules explained above, and place them in the proper schedule. Then read below to learn about possible charges and sentences. The statutes that explain what drug fits into each schedule are (Idaho Statutes Sections 37-2704 to 37-2713A.)
This article concerns the unlawful possession of CDS. Separate punishments apply to the sale of CDS or for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances. For information about sale of controlled substances, see Sale of a Controlled Substance in Idaho.
The unlawful possession of CDS is punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The penalty for each crime is set forth in the statute that describes the offense.
(Idaho Code Section 18-110.)
Felony possession of CDS is punished with lengthy periods of incarceration and heavy fines.
The unlawful possession of Schedule I narcotics or Schedule II CDS is a felony, punishable by a period of incarceration of up to seven years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
The unlawful possession of LSD is a felony punishable by a period of incarceration of up to three years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
(Idaho Code Section 37-2732.)
The possession of more than three ounces of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a period of incarceration of up to five years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
For more information see Marijuana Possession Laws in Idaho.
Misdemeanor crimes are less serious than felonies and are punished with significantly shorter periods of incarceration and smaller fines.
The possession of Schedules I (other than narcotics and LSD), III, IV, V, or VI CDS is a misdemeanor punishable by a period of incarceration of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
(Idaho Code Section 37-2732.)
The use of peyote is permissible in Native American religious rites by people who are members of a federally recognized Native American tribe.
(Idaho Code Section 37-2732A.)
The use of, or possession with the intent to use, paraphernalia for any of the following purposes is a misdemeanor punishable by a period of incarceration of up to one year, a fine of $1,000, or both:
(Idaho Code Section 37-2734A.)
If a felony is committed on the grounds of a correctional facility, the sentence for the offense will begin after all other sentences have been completed.
(Idaho Code Section 19-2520F.)
If a defendant is convicted of any felony for a third time, either in Idaho or outside the state of Idaho, the sentence on the third conviction is a period of incarceration of five years to life.
(Idaho Code Section 19-2514.)
If you have been charged with the unlawful possession of CDS, you face the possibility of lengthy periods of incarceration, steep fines, and other life-long consequences. To make sure that you understand the crime you have been charged with, the possible penalties, and your options, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in drug cases.