Provided that you never have anything to do with drugs, the chances of being arrested for possessing them are pretty slim. Yet, there are, of course, exceptions. As with any crime, innocent people may be arrested and even convicted for things they had nothing to do with.
Statistics show that drug crimes account for a quarter of all arrests in the United States. The police made 1.16 million drug arrests in 2020, which is significantly less than the previous ten years, wherein the number of arrests had not dropped below 1.5 million. It’s unlikely that drug activity dropped in 2020 and more likely that the police were tied up with other things.
Marijuana possession arrests alone are significant
Marijuana-related arrests accounted for 11% of all arrests or 42% of all drug arrests in 2020. 2020 saw over 300,000 arrests for possession of marijuana, almost ten times higher than the arrests for manufacturing or selling it
Is that much more than heroin arrests?
Yes and no. You might be surprised to discover that the police made 15,000 more arrests for the manufacture and sale of heroin, cocaine and their derivatives than they did for growing and selling marijuana. Arrest figures for possession were around 100,000 less than for marijuana possession.
Not all arrests lead to a conviction
They don’t, but 46% percent of federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug crimes. In the case of women, it rises to 59% and among Hispanics 60%. So, it’s clear that many arrests do lead to convictions. Often that is because people do not get sufficient legal assistance when defending against drug-related charges.
If the police arrest you for a drug-related crime, getting prompt legal help will be crucial to understand what you should do next. Even if you’re truly innocent, avoiding consequences might be tough.