As states surrounding Indiana continue to fully or partially legalize marijuana, it’s important to remember that it’s still a crime to possess it in Indiana. Marijuana or any other drug possession conviction can lead to serious consequences for the offender.
Coulter Law, a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana, can help you if you’ve found yourself with a drug possession charge and will go over some of the basics.
What Are the Charges and Categories?
Not all possession crimes are considered equal. Sentences can vary from a small fine to 20-50 years imprisonment! The amount of drugs in your possession, the type of drug, as well as where you were when you were found with them greatly affects how courts view the crime.
Being found with more than 3 grams of drugs like cocaine, meth, heroin, or any other schedule I drugs can result in much more serious felonies. If you are within 1,000 feet of school property, expect the highest-level felonies you can receive.
Marijuana carries a lesser penalty but can still have big consequences. Felony charges are still possible, especially if possessing more than 30 grams or close proximity to a school. You can also be charged with drug paraphernalia—any products or equipment used to make, use, or conceal drugs. Multiple convictions for paraphernalia, or possession of a syringe, can mean felony charges.
What Are the Penalties?
Indiana classifies felonies in six levels. A Level 1 Felony is the most serious and Level 6 Felony is the least. The penalties for each level are as follows:
· Level 1 Felony: 20 to 40 years
· Level 2 Felony: 10 to 30 years
· Level 3 Felony: 3 to 16 years
· Level 4 Felony: 2 to 12 years
· Level 5 Felony: 1 to 6 years
· Level 6 Felony: 6 months to 2 1/2 years
The good news for Level 6 Felonies is that they have the possibility to be reduced to misdemeanors through various methods. Misdemeanors are less serious, without the long-lasting effects and loss of rights of a felony. Misdemeanors also come with smaller fines and sentences, which are commonly served in county jails instead of prisons.
If you have any additional questions on sentencing and penalties and are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana, contact Coulter Law for more info.
What Are My Legal Options After a Drug Possession Charge?
While the best idea is to immediately consult with an expert like Coulter Law, there are some basics you should know. You do have some options.
The first is the defense of an unlawful seizure. Any evidence obtained illegally cannot be used in a trial, which can cause a case to be thrown out. Another possible defense is that it wasn’t reasonable to determine you have possession in a car full of people or other circumstances, and there are many more options your lawyer can talk you through.
Courts also have the discretion to lessen sentences and fines with a guilty plea. This can be a useful tool for those looking to expedite the court process and minimize the penalties they’ll face. Again, it’s best to consult with a legal expert as your first step, but it can be helpful to know what to expect.
Where Can I Get Legal Help for Drug Possession?
If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana for help with your case, get in contact with Coulter Law. With years of experience in local criminal defense, Bryan Coulter can help you navigate the legal process.
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