With the proper defense, you might be able to reduce or even dismiss your dealing in a controlled substancecharges.
Take steps to move past this time in your life and get the help of an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense attorney from Hessler Law. Call our office at (317) 886-8800 for a free confidential consultation to further discuss your legal options.
When Can You Be Charged with Drug Dealing in Indianapolis?
Under Indiana Code § 35-48-4-1, drug dealing charges apply when an individual is accused of selling or delivering controlled substances or possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver it.
To deliver a drug means to transfer, sell, or exchange. It is a transaction. Generally, standard drug possession charges can be increased to possession with intent to deliver based on the amount of drugs in the defendant’s possession.
Are Drug Dealing Charges a Felony or Misdemeanor in Indiana?
You could face many types of drug charges, depending on several factors. Many drug crimes, including drug dealing charges, are considered wobbler offenses. This means they can be tried as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the specific details of your case.
The Type of Drug
Indiana categorizes controlled substances into five separate “schedules.” Schedule I drugs are most likely to be abused and have no accepted medical use. Schedule V drugs are the least likely to be abused and have widely accepted medical use.
Possession with intent to deliver a Schedule I drug such as heroin could result in more severe charges.
Additional Paraphernalia Discovered by Police
Instances where police found drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, ledgers, scales, and other evidence of intent to deliver are more likely to result in harsher charges and penalties.
Suppose you were found with five grams of heroin on you along with plastic bags, spoons, and other packing materials. In that case, the prosecutor could elect to bump your possession with intent to deliver charges up to trafficking charges.
Penalties for Dealing in a Controlled Substance in Indiana
The consequences of drug dealing in Indianapolis vary widely. The type and amount of controlled substance and any enhancing circumstances factor into your potential penalties.
Aggravating Factors in Your Drug Dealing Case
Some examples of enhancing circumstances could include:
- A firearm being involved
- Whether you have previous drug connections
- Whether the offense occurred within a certain proximity to a school, park, or substance abuse treatment facility
- Whether a child was involved
You can expect your charges to be bumped up to the next level offense if you have an enhancing circumstance in your case. Suppose you previously faced misdemeanor drug-dealing charges, but enhancing circumstances applied. In that case, you could then face Level 5 felony charges instead.
Penalties for Dealing in a Controlled Substance
Here are some penalties you could face if you are convicted of specific types of drug dealing charges in Indianapolis:
- Delivery of seven grams or more but less than 12 grams of heroin – A Level 3 felony, punishable by up to 16 years in prison, with an advisory sentence of nine years and fines as high as $10,000.
- Delivery of 12 grams or more of heroin – A Level 2 felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, with an advisory sentence of nearly 18 years and fines as high as $10,000
- Delivery of less than one gram of a Schedule V drug – A Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine
These are just a few of the different drug dealing charges you could face if you are arrested in Indianapolis. Reach out to an experienced attorney to determine the severity of your charges.
Were You Part of an Undercover Sting?
Many are quick to assume sting operations are only used in sex crime cases. However, sting operations are also used by undercover officers who pose as drug dealers.
Here’s How It Works:
Police pose as drug dealers and sell drugs to buyers, who they then arrest. Police also pose as drug users who approach drug dealers to purchase drugs, who they then arrest. These are called “controlled buys,” where police are given funds to buy controlled substances from drug dealers.
Law Enforcement May Have Coerced You to Commit a Crime
Generally, the Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Indianapolis Police Department will make these undercover sting arrests. Unfortunately, there are many situations in which individuals who were not intending to commit crimes are charged with drug dealing.
Defending Yourself Against Indianapolis Drug Dealing Charges
You need a solid defense to avoid conviction. Every case is different, and some defenses may not apply to your case. Defenses include:
Questioning Possession of the Drugs
Actual possession refers to a person having drugs on them. Constructive possession means they are within your ability to control. But it does not necessarily mean you had actual possession. Your attorney may need to challenge constructive possession in your case.
You might be surprised at how many drug dealing charges begin with routine traffic stops. Unless police have probable cause to pull you over, any evidence that may have been gathered after an unlawful stop should be deemed inadmissible and tossed out in a trial against you.
Police only have the right to search you or your property when you give your consent, or they have a warrant. If they do not provide you with a warrant and you did not consent to a search, any evidence obtained during this search would be considered illegal.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you are found guilty of drug dealing in Indianapolis, your entire future could be on the line. Make sure you present a powerful defense strategy for your case.
Get started on your defense as soon as today when you schedule your confidential consultation with an experienced Indianapolis drug lawyer at Hessler Law PC. Call our office at (317) 886-8800 or complete our convenient contact form to learn how to best approach your criminal defense.