While there have been major shifts in cultural attitudes regarding those who use marijuana in the state of Indiana, those new perspectives have not affected law enforcement policies. Many people think that marijuana possession charges aren’t a big deal anymore, but they’re mistaken. In fact, Indiana has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana possession in the entire country. If you or someone you love has been charged with marijuana possession in the state of Indiana, even if it was a single joint, you need to retain the services of a skilled defense attorney with a record of drug defense as soon as possible!
Marijuana charges bring harsh penalties in Indiana
The state of Indiana has been called Draconian in its approach to marijuana offenses. If law enforcement find you in possession of any amount, even a single seed or the remnants of a marijuana joint smoked long ago, you could be facing a fine of up to $1,000, as well as up to 180 days of incarceration.
If you are found in possession of any amount of marijuana and have a past drug offense on your criminal record, those penalties are increased to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. If you are found in possession of 30 grams or more with a previous drug offense, you’re looking at $10,000 in fines, a felony charge, and up to 2.5 years in prison.
Enforcement set to increase due to high traffic designation
In parts of the state, law enforcement already has a very skewed policy of focusing heavily on easily-proved drug offenses that improve their conviction rates and yield income via aggressive asset forfeiture. In places like Marion county, which was recently designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), federal funding and support for increased enforcement could result in substantial increases in arrests and prosecutions for drug offenses.
While the enforcement will focus on trafficking, in reality, the majority of people impacted by increased enforcement will probably be individuals who will face possession charges.
An experienced drug defense attorney is your best hope
If you or someone you love is facing a marijuana possession charge for any amount of marijuana in the state of Indiana, you need to take the charges as seriously as the state and law enforcement will. Don’t risk working with an exhausted, over-extended public defender who likely won’t have an extensive case history of successful drug-related criminal defense.
As soon as the arrest has happened, you should contact a skilled defense attorney to discuss the details of the arrest and processing. A skilled attorney can determine if your civil rights were violated, and what, if any, form of affirmative defense or case dismissal may work in your situation.