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How Indiana Determines Sentencing for Drug Crimes

Nov 08 2017, by Sean Hessler in Drug Charges, Legal Blog

Indiana law can be very harsh on those who are convicted of drug crimes. Police and prosecutors have been known to seek lengthy and expensive punishments against offenders as part of an effort to reduce drug use and trafficking. For these reasons, you or a loved one can be facing a sentence that involves years in prison and a permanent criminal record if you are arrested for a drug offense. Our office understands how sentencing for drug crimes is determined in Indiana, and we can help you defend your rights after being arrested for drug charges.

Being charged with a criminal drug offense can be overwhelming for anybody, so it is important to seek experienced legal help as soon as possible if this has happened to you. Contact Hessler Law to speak with a skilled Indianapolis drug lawyer about your defense.

Call our office today at (317) 886-8800.

Intent Behind the Drug Crime

Sentencing for a drug crime varies greatly on what is found to be the intent of your drug offense. For example, possession of an illegal substance will generally result in a less severe sentence than a conviction for the manufacturing or trafficking of the same substance. Drug crimes you can be charged with include:

  • Possession- Drug possession can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, and they can result in anywhere from days in jail to decades in prison.
  • Manufacturing- Making drugs – whether for personal use or sale – can return a felony conviction with up to 50 years in prison, depending on the date of your offense.
  • Marijuana Manufacturing- Depending on your criminal record, you face misdemeanor or felony charges if you’re found producing marijuana in the state of Indiana.
  • Trafficking- Similar to manufacturing, trafficking involves delivering or financing drug manufacturing for resale, and can be punishable by decades in prison like drug manufacturing.

Enhancement Of Drug Charges

Not all possession or trafficking sentences are the same. They are determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are arrested for a drug offense, it is possible that the charges that you face will be more severe due to the details of your alleged crime. Enhanced drug sentences can come about from many different factors, such as:

  • Use of a weapon with a drug crime. Using or simply possessing a weapon, particularly a firearm, can greatly increase your sentence.
  • Quantities of drugs. Increased amounts of drugs will result in a more serious sentencing for a drug crime.
  • Your criminal history. Any crimes you’ve committed prior to your alleged drug offense will determine if enhanced sentencing can be applied to your case.
  • Location of the drug crime. If committed near a place such as a school or park, your punishment may be much more severe.
  • The involvement of minors. Enhanced sentencing can be applied if children were hurt by or witnessed your drug crime.

Type Of Drug Determines Sentence Severity

Indiana drug law reflects the state’s concern that certain drugs are especially harmful to the public and can cause a health epidemic. Over recent years, there has been a growing problem with methamphetamine in the United States, and Indiana has experienced many problems with both deadly use of this drug as well as interstate drug trafficking. While the specific details of each case will provide for unique sentencing, some of the most common drugs involved in these crime can be broken down as:

  • Cocaine, methamphetamine, or narcotics such as heroin- Crimes involving these drugs carry felony sentences of decades in prison and expensive fines.
  • Marijuana, hash oil, or salvia- While manufacturing or trafficking large amounts of these substances can result in a sentence with years in prison, many possession charges can result in misdemeanor charges with up to a year in jail, and fines reaching $5,000.

Hessler Law Can Help

Sentencing for drug crimes in Indiana isn’t always easy to understand, and you may be very uncertain of the possible penalties you face after being arrested for a drug offense. While it can be confusing, there are many opportunities for your lawyer to argue that your case requires a reduced sentence, or that your charges should be completely dropped. Our office has spent years helping our clients protect themselves during a drug crime defense, and we can help you clear your name and move on with your life.

To speak with a skilled Indianapolis drug lawyer, contact Hessler Law today to begin your defense. Call us today at (317) 886-8800.