Angel, Coil & Bartlett | Montana Drug Possession Attorneys 

The attorneys at Angel, Coil & Bartlett routinely handle criminal drug offense charges across the state of Montana. Our firm is based in Bozeman, Montana. Contact our firm for more information as to how we can assist you in your case. Below are some common frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive from our clients.

What is a Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Charge in Montana?

Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia are Montana crimes charged when a person illegally possess drugs and/or drug paraphernalia. Whether a person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense for Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs depends on the type and amount of drug possessed. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a misdemeanor offense in Montana.

What Should I Bring to My First Meeting With Your Office?

You should bring all of the court-related documents you have received from law enforcement and the Court. This may include the charging document (citation, complaint or felony information), a copy of your bond conditions if you have seen a judge, and the document informing you of your next court hearing.

What are Examples of Drugs that are Illegal to Possess in Montana?

While the number of drugs deemed illegal to possess in the state of Montana is extensive, the following is a list of the most typical drug possession charges we see.

  • Marijuana (without a valid medical marijuana card)
  • Synthetic cannabinoids (synthetic marijuana)
  • Hash (i.e., hashish)
  • Prescription medication (without a prescription by a licensed physician)
  • Anabolic steroids (depending on type)
  • Methamphetamine (i.e., speed, crank, meth)
  • Opiates & opium derivatives (either natural or synthetic)
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Hallucinogenic substances (e.g., LSD, psilocybin mushrooms)
  • Ecstasy (i.e., MDMA)

What are the Potential Penalties for Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs?

A person convicted of criminal possession of marijuana or its derivatives that does not exceed 60 grams of marijuana or 1 gram of hashish:

  • For a first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 6 months.
  • For a second or subsequent offense, the person can be guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony and faces a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 1 year or in the state prison for up to 3 years.

A person convicted of criminal possession of an anabolic steroid:

  • For a first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces a fine of up to $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 6 months, or both.
  • For a second offense, the person is guilty of a felony and faces a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment in the state prison not to exceed 5 years.

A person convicted of criminal possession of an opiate:

  • For a first or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a felony and faces a fine of up to $50,000 and imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than 2 years or more than 5 years.

A person convicted of criminal possession of methamphetamine shall be punished by:

  • For a first offense, the person is guilty of a felony and faces a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment in the state prison not to exceed 5 years.
  • For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a felony and faces a fine of up to $50,000 and imprisonment for a term not to exceed 5 years or both or commitment to the department of corrections for placement in an appropriate correctional facility or program for a term of not less than 3 years or more than 5 years. If the person successfully completes a residential methamphetamine treatment program operated or approved by the department of corrections during the first 3 years of a term, the remainder of the term must be suspended. The court may also impose a fine not to exceed $50,000.

For possession of all other illegal drugs, the person is guilty of a felony and faces a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment in the state prison not to exceed 5 years.

A person convicted of a first offense for possession of dangerous drugs is presumed to be entitled to a deferred imposition of sentence of imprisonment.

What are the Potential Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?

A person convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces a fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months. A person convicted of a first violation of possession of drug paraphernalia is presumed to be entitled to a deferred imposition of sentence of imprisonment.

Are These the Only Penalties I May Face for Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?

No. Once you meet with one of our attorneys the other possible penalties will be discussed with you in detail in addition to your possible defenses.

Can I Be Required To Attend a Dangerous Drug Information Course and Chemical Dependency Treatment?

Yes, you can be required to attend chemical dependency treatment for both misdemeanor and felony offenses. A person convicted of misdemeanor criminal possession of dangerous drugs and/or possession of drug paraphernalia is required to complete a dangerous drug information course offered by a chemical dependency facility and the sentencing judge may require the person to undergo chemical dependency treatment if a licensed addiction counselor working with the person recommends treatment.

What Can I Expect From Your Firm?

You can expect us to represent you at all court-related phases of your case and aggressively advocate on your behalf. Our firm has extensive experience defending drug offense cases and will work with you to expose the weaknesses and misunderstandings that form the basis of the prosecutor’s case. Often support for your defense is discovered after analyzing the police officer’s written reports, audio and video recordings, or through witness interviews.

Criminal possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia cases often involve illegal search and seizure issues. Montana citizens have constitutional rights under the United States Constitution and the Montana Constitution. Under the Montana Constitution, Montana citizens have an explicit right to privacy as well as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Montanans benefit from heightened state privacy protections not enjoyed in most other U.S. states and these principles apply to Montana criminal defense cases. Our attorneys will scrutinize your case for constitutional violations and ensure that law enforcement respected your rights during your involvement with police. Montana drug offense and paraphernalia cases can often be resolved in favor of the defendant by establishing the police violated the defendant’s constitutional rights thereby preventing the contraband from being admitted into evidence in the case.

We will thoroughly review the evidence in your case to formulate a defense unique to your set of circumstances. Depending on the specific facts of your case, we will:

  • Examine your case for constitutional violations.
  • Scrutinize the officer’s investigation for misunderstandings and exculpatory evidence.
  • Present circumstances unique to your case to the prosecuting attorney and judge in an effort to obtain a more lenient sentence.
  • Negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor in your case
  • Prepare your case for trial.
  • Try your case before a jury or judge.

Angel, Coil & Bartlett is comprised of a dedicated team of Montana criminal trial lawyers committed to protecting your constitutional and legal rights and helping you navigate the Montana criminal justice system.

Call us today for a free telephone consultation with one of our attorneys and an appointment with our firm.