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Possession of cocaine is a crime in almost every jurisdiction. The consequences, however, are not always consistent. Possible punishments include mandatory rehabilitation, fines, and incarceration. In some countries getting caught with cocaine can lead to execution. Apart from the sentences issued by a court, a possession conviction may also have consequences such as preventing a person from getting certain jobs, living in certain homes, or receiving social service benefits.
Anyone who has heard that a possession of cocaine charge can change a person’s life may be wise to heed the warning. There are a wide range of criminal penalties that may be imposed on a person if he is convicted of this crime. Some of the mildest consequences, which may not be available in all jurisdictions, are court-ordered drug treatment and probation. Judges sometimes opt to impose these orders if they believe that an individual is better classified as an addict than a criminal.
In many cases, those who are convicted of possession of cocaine face imprisonment. The amount of time that a person will spend incarcerated generally depends upon the jurisdiction where she is caught and the amount of drugs that she has. Previous criminal history, even if not drug related, can also play a role. Sentences overall can range from a few months to many years. In some countries, the crime is so serious that a person can be imprisoned for life.
There are also several countries in the world where possession of cocaine is a capital offense. This means that a person can be put to death for this crime. Other common criminal consequences include fines, which are often hefty for this type of offense, and community service.
In addition to the consequences imposed by a court, people who are convicted of possession of cocaine may find that their lives are affected in a number of other ways. Students, for example, may be permanently barred from their schools. Those who were in the midst of their secondary education may lose essential funding, such as grants or scholarships.
A possession of cocaine conviction can prevent individuals from obtaining certain jobs. People who were employed may lose their jobs and have their professional licensing suspended. This crime can severely damage a person’s career. Prominent individuals may lose endorsements or campaigns.
The social effects of a possession of cocaine conviction do not stop there. A person may also be prevented from living in certain places due to the crime. If he was receiving social service benefits, he may lose them, or if he needs them in the future, the services may be denied.