Radel could have faced much stiffer penalties in other states

November 20, 2013
In a photo taken Tuesday, July 9, 2013, at the Capitol in Washington, Rep. Henry
Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession Wednesday and was sentenced to one year of probation.

The sentence handed down by the D.C. Superior Court was far less than the maximum Radel could have faced, which in Washington, D.C., is 180 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

But even that maximum is far less than Radel would have faced in other states.

In Connecticut, first-time drug offenders can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

In Minnesota, having more than three grams of cocaine is punishable by as much as 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

In New Jersey, drug possession is punishable by as much as five years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000.

The average maximum penalty for drug possession similar to Radel's is about one year in prison, though it's not clear how many offenders receive the maximum sentence.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · November 20, 2013

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