Possession of cocaine or a narcotic drug is a serious crime under Indiana’s criminal justice system. If you have been arrested and/or charged with this offense, it is critical that you work with an experienced Indiana narcotic possession defense attorney who can explain the justice system and the charges against you, then develop a strong defense to protect your rights and future.
Possession Laws: An Indiana Narcotic Possession Defense Attorney Explains
Unless you have a prescription that is valid or an appropriate order from a medical practitioner, possession of cocaine or a narcotic drug is illegal in Indiana. Charges for the offense can range from Level 3 to Level 6 felony levels, as outlined in Indiana Code § 35-48-4-6.
The level of the offense is based on the amount of the drug you are alleged to have possessed, and “enhancing circumstances” can elevate the charges against you. For those charged in Indianapolis and elsewhere in the Hoosier State, an Indianapolis narcotic possession defense lawyer at Camden & Meridew, P.C. can help you understand the charges against you as well as the penalties you may face and possible defense strategies.
Indiana Narcotic Possession Charges and Penalties
As noted previously, the level of felony charges you may face for alleged possession of a narcotic in Indiana ranges from Level 3 to Level 6, based on the amount of the drug in your possession and the existence of enhancing circumstances, if applicable.
Level 6 is the lowest level of felony in Indiana. The charge is one level higher than a Class A misdemeanor. If it is alleged that you possessed less than five grams of cocaine or a narcotic drug, the law says you are to be charged with a Level 6 felony. A conviction for a Level 6 felony can result in six months to two and a half years of incarceration.
In some Level 6 felony possession cases, your Central Indiana possession of narcotics defense attorney may be able to get the charges against you reduced to a Class A misdemeanor. This would result in lesser penalties and allow you to avoid being convicted as a felon, which has more serious long-term consequences.
If you are accused of possessing between five and ten grams of narcotics or less than five but an enhancing circumstance exists, you can be charged with a Level 5 felony. This offense can result in a prison sentence between one and six years. Some defendants may be eligible to have the charges reduced to a Level 6 felony.
Defendants alleged to possess between ten and 28 grams or those possessing between five and ten grams with an enhancing circumstance can be charged with a Level 4 felony in Indiana. The consequences for a Level 4 felony conviction include incarceration for two to 12 years.
Finally, if you are accused of possessing 28 grams or more of a narcotic substance, the State can charge you with a Level 3 felony, which can result in a prison sentence of between three and 16 years if you are convicted.
In addition to incarceration and the long-term impacts of being a convicted felon, each of these charges can also result in a fine of as much as $10,000. An Indiana narcotic possession defense attorney can review your case and determine the best path forward for your situation.
Enhancing Circumstances: An Indiana Narcotic Possession Defense Attorney Explains
Indiana Code § 35-48-1-16.5 sets forth the conditions that can be considered an enhancing circumstance, elevating the criminal charges against a defendant. Enhancing circumstances include the following in Indiana:
- You have a previous conviction for drug dealing (unless the drug was marijuana or a related substance);
- You had a gun with you at the time of the offense;
- You committed the offense on a school bus or within 500 feet of school property or a public park where children may have been present;
- You delivered a controlled substance to a minor who is more than three years younger than you;
- You manufactured or paid for the manufacture of the drugs;
- You knew a minor child was present when the offense was committed;
- You committed the offense on a penal or juvenile facility’s property; or
- You committed the offense within 100 feet of a drug treatment, rehabilitation, or care facility.
When you work with a knowledgeable Central Indiana narcotics defense attorney, he or she can work with you to prove an enhancing circumstance did not exist or manage the consequences if one did.
Contact a Carmel-Fishers Narcotic Possession Defense Lawyer for Help
If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of cocaine or narcotic drugs in Indiana, it is important to seek legal counsel and representation as soon as possible. A Carmel-Fishers narcotic possession defense attorney at Camden & Meridew in Hamilton County can review your case, determine the best defense strategies, and represent you in negotiations and court.
Don’t delay seeking the help you need! Contact an experienced Indiana narcotic possession defense attorney at Camden & Meridew, P.C. today. Call 317-770-0000 or complete this online contact form to schedule a consultation.