An Indiana possession of marijuana arrest can be a scary experience. Indiana marijuana charges can vary depending on your location, the amount of the drug it is alleged that you possessed, previous criminal charges, and other factors. To protect your rights, record, and future, you need a marijuana defense lawyer with deep knowledge of marijuana laws in Indiana and the processes and procedures of the state and local courts.
Indiana Possession of Marijuana Charges Explained
Many people facing Indiana marijuana charges only possessed a small amount of the drug. However, because of a prior low-level marijuana possession conviction, they may now face enhanced charges, additional fines, and an extended sentence.
Other people arrested for possession of marijuana weren’t even using the drug recreationally. What if you are a cancer patient, consuming small amounts of marijuana to help with your pain or nausea from chemotherapy, and are caught by law enforcement? What will your future look like now?
These examples show how marijuana possession can be a complicated charge. This can lead to significant frustration and challenges for individuals arrested for possession, especially when some nearby states have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational marijuana.
If you’ve recently been arrested for marijuana possession in Indiana, you might be wondering what’s next. What will happen in your criminal case?
Marijuana Laws in Indiana
Indiana marijuana laws criminalize the possession of marijuana in all circumstances. The offense for which you can be charged is based on the number of grams that were allegedly recovered by law enforcement from your possession. Charges are enhanced if you have a prior drug possession conviction.
For example, according to Indiana Code § 35-48-4-11, possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, you may be sentenced to serve up to 180 days and fined as much as $1,000.
Having a prior drug possession conviction makes these charges and consequences more serious. Defendants with prior possession convictions have their Class B misdemeanor charges enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor and face higher fines and longer sentences.
Charges are even more severe if you are allegedly caught with larger quantities of marijuana. Under the same statute listed above, possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana is a Level 6 felony. If convicted, this felony is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and incarceration for a period between six months and two years.
Charges Related to Marijuana Possession
Sometimes defendants in marijuana possession cases have additional, related charges against them. One of the most common related charges to marijuana possession is possession of drug paraphernalia.
It is very common for individuals who have marijuana on or with them to also have a device or instrument, such as a pipe, to consume the substance. Being accused of possessing both marijuana and drug paraphernalia, however, can bring additional charges and an additional sentence.
Indiana Code § 35-48-4-8.3 criminalizes the possession of instruments and devices used to consume marijuana and classifies it as a Class C misdemeanor. However, it is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor if you have a prior conviction of possession of a controlled substance.
Defending Indiana Possession of Marijuana Charges
Defending a marijuana possession case can be complex depending on the amount of marijuana allegedly recovered and any prior drug conviction you may have. To protect yourself, it’s critical that you call an Indiana marijuana defense lawyer who can manage your case effectively and determine the best possible defense strategy.
While working a marijuana possession case, Josiah Swinney conducts research into the circumstances of your arrest. In some cases, Indiana Code § 35-48-4-12 may come into play. This statute, written for first-time offenders, gives judges the discretion to defer proceedings against certain defendants who plead guilty and fulfill specified conditions of the court. The court may later dismiss the charge if the defendant fulfilled the court-imposed conditions, thus avoiding a criminal record showing a conviction for the offense.
Individuals who were arrested for marijuana possession in Marion County, Indiana, may find that prosecutors never press charges against them after their arrests. Since 2019, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has had a policy of not prosecuting arrests for low-level marijuana possession. However, surrounding counties, like Hamilton County, or elsewhere in the state, like Dubois County, do not have the same policy, so you are likely to face charges.
Contact Camden & Meridew to learn more about how to best defend your case under existing marijuana laws in Indiana.
Consult with Josiah Swinney at Camden & Meridew about Your Indiana Possession of Marijuana Case
Indiana marijuana laws are complex. Working with an Indiana marijuana defense lawyer like Josiah Swinney is key to creating the best possible defense to the charges you’re facing.
When you call our law offices, we are ready to hear your side of the story. We want you to share everything that happened so we can formulate a strong defense strategy and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Whether you have been charged with Indiana possession of marijuana or a higher-level offense like marijuana dealing, don’t delay in getting quality legal help. Call Josiah Swinney at Camden & Meridew, P.C. today at (317) 770-000 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation.