Legal Blog

Indianapolis Pretrial Options for Drug Charges

12 July 2021 | Drug Charges,  

Attorney Sean Hessler

Written by
Sean Hessler

12 July 2021

Drug Charges,  

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Have you been arrested and charged with a drug-related crime? If so, you may be facing severe criminal penalties. Your drug lawyer at Hessler Law PC could help you explore your defense options. Defense options include enrolling in a pretrial diversion program.

Contact our office and set up an initial consultation to start working on your strategy today.

What are Pretrial Diversion Programs?

Pretrial diversion programs can be a great option, especially for those facing drug charges. These programs provide an alternative to traditional criminal penalties. Hefty fines and jail or prison time may do little to help someone struggling with an addiction or substance abuse.

Typically, your drug lawyer will work on an agreement between you and the prosecutor. The goal is for you to avoid jail time or other criminal penalties. To avoid criminal penalties, you may have the option to agree to participate in a pretrial diversion program. This might include drug or alcohol treatment. It may involve Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous, or other addiction treatment options.

Pretrial Diversion Program Rules

Pretrial diversion programs have rules you will be required to follow. Some of these could include:

  • Reporting to a probation officer
  • Submitting to drug or alcohol testing
  • GPS monitoring via house arrest
  • Court-ordered counseling
  • Abiding by a curfew

Additional Criteria for Diversion Programs

There may be other criteria as well. For example, you must avoid additional charges. The length of time can vary. All these requirements must be met to complete the terms of your pretrial diversion program.

Once completed, the prosecutor will dismiss any pending criminal charges against you. That way, you can avoid a conviction.

Who Qualifies for Pretrial Diversion Options in Indianapolis?

Not everyone qualifies for pretrial diversion in Indianapolis. There may be multiple factors preventing you from qualifying, depending on your case.

The prosecutor may not always be willing to work with you. If you have a prior criminal record or harmed someone, this may be true for your case. But what if no one was hurt? Were you previously a contributing member of society? Then getting accepted into a pretrial diversion program should be easier for you.

Every case is different. So how can you find out whether you can avoid a conviction through pretrial diversion? You will need to discuss your defense options with your attorney.

Penalties if You’re Convicted of a Drug Crime

If you cannot enter into a pretrial diversion agreement, you’ll be subject to Indiana’s Sentencing Guidelines. When someone is convicted of a crime in Indiana, the court may use these guidelines to determine the defendant’s sentence.

Variables That Determine Sentencing

The type of penalties you’ll be facing can vary. It depends on whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony. It can also vary based on whether you have a previous history of drug charges and convictions.

First-time offenders might expect a lesser sentence; however, the judge is not required to adhere to these guidelines. Judges can also impose more or less jail or prison time at their discretion.

Misdemeanor Convictions

Under the Indiana Sentencing Guidelines, you could be facing fines between $500 and $5,000 for a misdemeanor conviction. Jail time could range from sixty days to one year; however, this depends on the details of your case.

Felony Convictions and Additional Consequences

Felony convictions carry fines as high as $10,000. But the prison time can range from six months to life in prison or even the death penalty. Again, these depend on the unique circumstances of your case. In addition to fines and prison time, you could also have to deal with:

  • Loss of gun rights
  • Challenges with immigration or citizenship
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Loss of professional licenses
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Child custody issues
  • Trouble finding gainful employment
  • Difficulty finding safe or affordable housing

All these penalties could be avoided if you complete a pretrial diversion program. Have your Indiana drug lawyer work with the prosecutor in your case to see if you qualify today.

Contact an Indianapolis Drug Lawyer Today

Are you facing severe drug charges? And are you interested in exploring your defense options? If so, your Indianapolis drug lawyer can help. Pretrial diversion programs may be an excellent option for you based on the details of your case.

Get help with your criminal defense strategy when you call Hessler Law PC. You can schedule a free, no-obligation claim review when you call us at (317) 886-8800. You can also fill out our quick contact form, and we’ll reach out to find out more about your drug charges.