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Delaware Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Less than 175 grams Misdemeanor 3 months $ 575
175 – less than 1500 grams Felony 3 years N/A**
1500 – less than 3000 grams Felony 5 years N/A**
3000 – less than 4000 grams Felony 8 years N/A**
4000 – less than 5000 grams Felony 15 years N/A**
5000 grams or more Felony 2* - 25 years N/A**
Aggravating factors add increased incarceration
* Mandatory minimum sentence
** Maximum fines are at the discretion of the court for felony charges at sentencing.

Distribution, Sale, or Manufacture

Less than 1500 grams Felony 8 years N/A**
1500 – less than 4000 grams Felony 15 years N/A**
4000 grams or more Felony 2* - 25 years N/A**
Aggravating factors add increased incarceration
* Mandatory minimum sentence
** Maximum fines are at the discretion of the court for felony charges at sentencing.

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Use or possesses with the intent to use Misdemeanor 6 months $ 1,000
Deliver or possesses with the intent to deliver Felony 2 years N/A**
Deliver to a minor who is under 18 years Felony 3 years N/A**
** Maximum fines are at the discretion of the court for felony charges at sentencing.

Forfeiture

All substances, raw materials, products, equipment, property, vehicles, research products, paraphernalia, money and other assets can be seized.

Miscellaneous

First time offenders may be placed on probation instead of sent to prison or fined.

Penalty Details

Under Delaware law marijuana is a schedule I drug. Legislation was approved in 2015 amending penalties for the possession of up to one ounce (28.35 grams) to a civil penalty, punishable by no more than a $100 fine. The use of marijuana by minors, in public, or in a moving vehicle will remain a criminal offense. The changes in Delaware's criminal code go into effect on December 18, 2015. Read more »

Possession for Personal Use

Sentencing penalties are provided in the chart above or listed under the miscellaneous section below.

Personal use quantity of marijuana is one ounce or less.

Possession of less than 175 grams of marijuana is an unclassified misdemeanor. If there are one or more aggravating factors involved, possession is a class B misdemeanor.

Possession of 175 – less than 1,500 grams is a class F felony, with one prior conviction a class D felony, with two or more prior convictions a class C felony. If one aggravating factor is involved possession is a class D felony, with one or more prior convictions a class C felony. If two or more aggravating factors are involved possession is a class C felony.

Possession of 1,500 – less than 3,000 grams is a class E felony, with one prior conviction a class C felony, with two or more prior convictions a class B felony. If one aggravating factor is involved possession is a class C felony, with one or more prior convictions a class B felony. If two or more aggravating factors are involved possession is a class B felony.

Possession of 3,000 – less than 4,000 grams is a class D felony, with one or more prior convictions a class B felony. If at least one aggravating factor is involved possession is a class B felony.

Possession of 4,000 – less than 5,000 grams is a class C felony. If at least one aggravating factor is involved possession is a class B felony.

Possession of 5,000 grams or more, with or without an aggravating factor is a class B felony.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4714
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §§ 4755 & 4756
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4764
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §§ 4751B - 4752
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4753

Distribution, Sale, or Manufacture

Distribution, Sale, or Manufacture of less than 1,500 grams is a class D felony, with one prior conviction a class C felony, with two or more prior convictions a class B felony. If one or more aggravating factors are involved the offense is a class C felony.

Distribution, Sale, or Manufacture of 1,500 – less than 4,000 grams is a class C felony, with one or more prior convictions a class B felony. If one or more aggravating factors are involved the offense is a class B felony.

Distribution, Sale, or Manufacture of more than 4,000 grams is a class B felony.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §§ 4751B - 4752
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4753
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, § 4754

Hash & Concentrates

The Delaware statute uses the general term "Marijuana" to refer to plant Cannabis and "every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin." Nowhere does the statute differentiate penalties for Marijuana and Hashish or Concentrates. Both substances are classified under Schedule I of the Delaware Controlled Substances schedule.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16 § 4701(26)
  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16 Del.C. § 4714(d)(19)

Paraphernalia

Any person who uses or possesses with the intent to use drug paraphernalia is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, punishable with confinement for up to 6 months and a fine of no more than $1,000.

Any person who delivers drug paraphernalia or possesses drug paraphernalia with the intent to deliver, is guilty of a class G felony, punishable by up to 2 years incarceration.

Any person who delivers drug paraphernalia to another person who is under 18 yeas old is guilty of a class E felony, punishable by up to 3 years incarceration.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §§ 4771 through 4774

Forfeitures

All controlled substances, which have been manufactured, distributed, possessed, dispensed or acquired including any property, which is used, or intended for use, as a container for property.

All raw materials, products and equipment of any kind, which are used, or intended for use, in manufacturing, delivering, importing or exporting any controlled substance including any property, which is used, or intended for use, as a container for property.

Any conveyances, including aircraft, vehicles, or vessels which are used, or are intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, sale, trafficking in or possession with intent to deliver marijuana; all books, records, and research products and materials including formulas, microfilm, tapes and data which are used or intended for use in violation of this chapter; all drug paraphernalia; all moneys, negotiable instruments, securities or any other thing of value furnished, or intended to be furnished, in exchange for a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia; all profits or proceeds traceable to securities, assets or interest used, or intended to be used, to facilitate any drug crime.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §4784

Miscellaneous

Sentencing
  • An unclassified misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $575, unless other wise specified.
  • A class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $1,000.
  • A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,300.
  • A class G felony is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment.
  • A class F felony is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment.
  • A class E felony is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • A class D felony is punishable by up to 8 years imprisonment.
  • A class C felony is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment.
  • A class B felony is punishable by 2 – 25 years imprisonment.
  • Felony penalty fines do not have a cap. All drug crimes require additional 15% surcharge for the rehabilitation fund.
  • Also a 6 month license suspension may be added in addition to the sentences provided above.
Super Weights

Marijuana weighing 15,000 grams (33 pounds) or less is punishable by 4 – 10 years imprisonment. More than 15,000 - 37,500 grams (83 pounds) is punishable by 6 – 12 years imprisonment. More than 37,500 – 75,000 grams (165 pounds) is punishable by 8 – 15 years imprisonment.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit.16 § 4701(14)
Aggravating Factors

The offense was committed within a protected school zone or park or place of worship or occurred in a vehicle. If both protected school zone and protected park or place of worship are present, then both may be alleged and proven, but together they count only as one.

The Defendant was an adult and the offense involved a minor (at least 4 years younger than the defendant) as a co-conspirator, accomplice, or the intended/actual recipient.

The Defendant, by use of violence or force, during or immediately following the offense, intentionally prevented or attempted to prevent the officer from making an arrest; or fled from an officer in a vehicle from, thereby creating a substantial risk of physical injury to other persons.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16 § 4751A

First time offenders may be placed on probation instead of sent to prison or fined. Probation includes state sponsored dug treatment, drug testing, suspension of offender's driver's license, and community service. Successful completion of the program results in the charges against the individual being dropped and a conviction not appearing on the offender's record. If the offender does commit another drug crime, however, this adjudication does count as a conviction.

See

  • Delaware CODE ANN. tit. 16, §4767
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Drugged Driving

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance is available here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available here.

Hemp

This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products. For more information see NORML's Industrial Use section.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML's Medical Marijuana section.