Aggressive Legal Representation for State And Federal Drug Offenses
Drug crime charges are among the most common types of criminal cases prosecuted in the courts. People of all ages and all walks of life often find themselves in need of a Merrillville drug crime lawyer. While a drug possession charge may seem minor at first glance, it can have serious repercussions in your life. Even more serious are charges related to the sale and distribution of controlled substances. These are crimes that are forcefully prosecuted by law enforcement and the government and can lead to serious penalties. Any conviction of a drug offense will also leave you with a permanent criminal record that can negatively impact employment, housing, and educational and professional opportunities.
When arrested for a drug crime, whether at the state or federal level, it is essential that you have capable legal representation. You may have little understanding of the criminal justice system, how it works, and how best to defend yourself. An experienced Merrillville drug crime attorney will know how to investigate your case to determine the quality of the evidence being used against you and whether your rights were violated. At The Region Lawyers, you work with a well-known drug crimes attorney near Gary with more than a decade of experience defending clients in and out of the courtroom. Our firm works tirelessly to negotiate reduced or dropped charges, reduced sentencing, or diversionary programs that may allow you to avoid jail time or a conviction.
Understanding Drug Crimes in Indiana
Drug crimes involve various activities related to controlled substances and the compounds used to make them. These are listed according to a “schedule” under both the state and federal government. The state of Indiana has five drug categories under its Schedule with Schedule I and II drugs being the most serious. The schedule is based on a drug’s potential for abuse and whether it has medical value. Thus, how you are charged in any drug crime will be based on which Schedule category the drug falls into, the quantity found in your possession, the nature of any drug-related activity, whether you have previous crimes, and other facts that may be relevant.
Examples of Schedule I and II drugs include:
Drug crimes at both the state and federal level can include simple possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute, sales, distribution, cultivation or manufacture, and large-scale drug trafficking operations. Federal drug crimes are generally more serious due to the fact that they are investigated by such agencies as the DEA and FBI and prosecuted at the federal level where federal sentencing guidelines may apply. If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, no matter the severity, contact a Merrillville drug crime attorney as soon as possible.
Penalties Of Drug Crimes In Indiana
Drug possession is generally the most common drug crime. In Indiana, penalties may be increased when “enhancing” circumstances are part of the arrest. These can include prior convictions, the use of a firearm, or where minors or restricted locations were involved, such as dealing drugs near a school or park.
While other states have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, in Indiana marijuana possession is still criminalized as a misdemeanor offense. You will be charged with a felony if you are found with 30 grams or more and have a prior drug offense. In a first-offense marijuana charge, you may be eligible for probation and drug counseling in lieu of jail time. If you successfully complete whatever conditions the court issues, you may have the charges dismissed. Otherwise, a marijuana misdemeanor charge carries up to 180 days in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
Other drug possession charges may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the drug and the quantity. For example, less than five grams of cocaine is charged as a level 6 felony while five grams up to 10 grams is charged as level 5 felony. As the quantities rise, so do the felony charges with a level 3 felony charge for 28 grams or more. Misdemeanors are generally punishable by up to a year in jail and/or fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Felonies range from six months to two and a half years in jail for a level 6 up to three to 16 years for a level 3.
Drug crimes such as sales, distribution, manufacturing, and trafficking are much more serious than possession and are charged as high level felonies depending on the type of drug, quantity, and enhancing circumstances.
Contact Us Today To Get More Information
Both state and federal drugs vary widely in their charges and penalties. If you are arrested, you will want to know how the relevant laws relate to your situation and what can be done to help you avoid or minimize the consequences. At The Region Lawyers, you can work with a proven trial lawyer who has extensive experience combatting drug crimes in Merrillville.
Get your free case evaluation with our drug crime attorney in Merrillville by contacting us online or at 219-961-3814 today. We work with clients throughout Gary, the state of Indiana and northern Illinois.