Methamphetamine—commonly called meth—comes in various forms and is regulated in the United States as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Meth charges in Indiana carry very serious penalties that can impact you and your family for years to come. The ultimate outcome of your case depends on the defense that you present. An Indiana criminal defense lawyer can help you formulate a defense strategy that best protects your interests.
Meth Charges in Indiana Can Be Life-Changing
Meth charges in Indiana can change the trajectory of your entire life. You can serve serious prison time, face thousands of dollars in fines, and end up with a permanent criminal record that can impact future employment, housing prospects, and more. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can mount a defense that gives you the best chance of walking away with a favorable outcome.
Penalties for Dealing in Meth Charges in Indiana
The penalties for dealing in methamphetamine charges in Indiana vary greatly depending on the nature of the charge. Under Indiana Code § 35-48-4-6.1, penalties for possession of meth depend on the amount of meth recovered:
- Less than five grams is punishable by jail time of up to two and a half years and a $10,000 fine;
- More than five grams but less than ten grams is punishable by prison time of up to six years with a one-year minimum;
- More than ten grams but less than 28 grams is punishable by prison time of up to 12 years with a two-year minimum; and
- More than 28 grams (one ounce) is punishable by prison time of up to 20 years with a three-year minimum.
Penalties for the distribution of methamphetamine are assessed on the same volume scale but are charged one degree higher than simple possession. Under Indiana Code § 35-48-4-1.1, you can be charged with dealing in meth if there is evidence that you intended to deliver or finance the delivery of the drug.
Finally, manufacturing meth is also charged on the same volume scale with a maximum of 30 years imprisonment.
For any possession, dealing, or manufacturing case, a charge can be increased if an enhancing circumstance applies. Under Indiana Code § 35-48-1-16.5, enhancing circumstances include the following:
- Prior drug convictions;
- Committing the offense while in possession of a firearm;
- Committing the offense in a “drug-free” zone such as a school, church, or public park; and
- Delivery of drugs to a minor.
Indiana is not considered a particularly progressive state when it comes to meth charges, which makes it even more important to retain an attorney to assist with your defense.
Meth Dealing Defense in Indiana
There are a number of strategies that can be deployed when developing a meth dealing defense in Indiana. First, an attorney may be able to suppress evidence against you if the arresting officers did not follow the proper protocols or if your Fourth Amendment rights were violated during the arrest or investigative process. There are a number of questions an attorney may ask to determine whether the evidence against you should be admissible in your case, including:
- Did the arresting officer have a warrant or probable cause?
- Were you informed of your rights during the arrest?
- Was the meth found during a lawful traffic stop?
- Were you given the opportunity to speak with a lawyer before questioning?
- Was coercion used during questioning or your arrest?
If your rights were violated, evidence against you may be deemed inadmissible and cannot be used in your case.
In building a case against you, law enforcement often leans on statements from witnesses. Part of a good defense strategy will include challenging witness credibility and doing an independent investigation to get an accurate account of what happened. An attorney can also negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. If this was your first drug offense, prosecutors are often willing to agree to lesser charges to avoid a trial.
An Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer for Meth Charges in Indiana
If you are looking for an Indianapolis attorney for meth dealing, look no further than the attorneys at Camden & Meridew, P.C. Our dedicated team of attorneys is familiar with the local nuances of the Indianapolis court system and can help you develop a strategic defense. For help with meth charges in Indiana, get in touch with us today by calling 317-770-0000 or by completing our online contact form.