Penalties for Illegally Selling Prescription Drugs in Rhode Island

Posted by April Picozzi | Jul 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Selling drugs is an offense that Rhode Island law enforcement takes seriously. In some cases, someone in possession of a controlled substance may be charged with intent to sell if the amount of drug police found is over a certain amount. If arrested for selling drugs, including marijuana, in Rhode Island, police will generally charge an individual in one or more categories, including:

  • Possession
  • Distribution
  • Intent to Deliver
  • Sale, Cultivation, and Manufacture:
  • Delivery

One of the most commonly charged drug crimes in Rhode Island is the possession of a controlled substance, including marijuana, with intent to sell. Penalties for possession with intent to sell include:




Schedule I & II Drugs

$3,000 to $100,000

Up to 30 years in prison

Schedule III & IV Drugs

Up to $40,000

Up to 20 years in prison

Some Schedule III Substances

Up to $20,000

Up to 5 years in prison

Schedule V

Up to $10,000

Up to 1 year in prison

Rhode Island classifies controlled substances into five categories based on each drug's dangerous side effects and the likelihood of addiction or abuse. The most dangerous drugs that have no medical use are classified as Schedule I.

Possession of certain drugs carry minimum sentences of 10 years in prison and a $3,000 fine but may carry sentences of up to 50 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. These drugs include:

  • One ounce to one kilogram of heroin or cocaine
  • One to ten grams, or 100 to 1,000 tablets, of PCP
  • One-tenth of a gram of to one gram, or 100 to 1,000 tablets of LSD
  • One to five kilograms of marijuana

Many factors will also affect sentencing for a drug crime, including:

  • The classification of the drug in question
  • Whether the accused sold the drug to a minor
  • How much of the drug the accused had in their possession
  • The location of the charge and whether it was on school grounds
  • Previous criminal charges

Alternative Sentencing

While there are alternative sentencing options, diversion programs, and drug courts for drug users, prosecutors and courts typically reserve these programs for first-time, nonviolent offenders. Someone charged with selling drugs may be unable to access these alternative sentencing options. If you are facing an arrest for illegally selling drugs, you immediately need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Inman & Tourgee online or call (401) 823-9200 to discuss your legal options today.

About the Author

April Picozzi

PUBLIC ADJUSTER / OPERATIONS & FINANCE MANAGER April M. Picozzi joined the firm in 2013 as a licensed Independent Adjuster and legal assistant to Mark D. Tourgee, Esq. She handles all aspects of personal injury claims including client intake, maintaining client files, negotiating settlements and assi...


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