Defending Your Marijuana Charge
Sunday, February 24, 2013
The legalization of marijuana is a hot topic that states all across the country are taking different approaches on. Some states have legalized it in small amounts or if it is for medical purposes. Some states have started treating small amounts used for personal use as an infraction, basically the equivalent of a traffic ticket. Not surprisingly, Indiana still takes a pretty harsh position on the possession, use and sale of marijuana. While there have been some legislators discussing the possibility of reforming the marijuana laws in Indiana, that is likely to be a long process that won’t result in significant changes anytime soon.
So, for today’s blog we take a look at the laws that are currently in effect in Indiana regarding marijuana. We will start by taking a look at Indiana Code 35-48-4-10. This section of the code creates the laws regarding dealing in marijuana(among other substances). If you knowingly or intentionally manufacture, finance the manufacture, deliver or finance the delivery of marijuana or if you possess it with the intent of manufacturing or financing the marijuana then you can be charged with dealing in marijuana a Class A Misdemeanor.
Dealing in marijuana can be enhanced to a felony charge if additional circumstances exist. The charge becomes a Level 6 Felony if the amount of the marijuana was less than thirty (30) grams of marijuana and the defendant has a prior conviction for a drug offense. Additionally, the charge becomes a Level 6 Felony if the amount of the drug involved it at least thirty (30) grams but less than ten (10) pounds of marijuana.
Dealing in marijuana can even become a Level 5 Felony. The dealing of marijuana becomes a Level 5 Felony if the amount is in excess of ten (10) pounds or if the offense involved a sale to a minor.
As one would suspect, in Indiana it is also a crime to possess marijuana; regardless of your intent to deal or not. If you possess marijuana and the amount is under thirty (30) grams, the penalty is an A Misdemeanor. However, it is a Level 6 Felony if it is more than 30 grams. This includes possessing, cultivating or growing marijuana.
In most jurisdictions, if it is your first offense and your charge is an A misdemeanor the State will likely offer you a diversion(prosecutor run program) or a conditional discharge(court run program) where if you comply with certain terms during a fixed period of time, your charge will be dismissed.
One of the things many people are surprised to find out, is that a conviction for possession or dealing of marijuana(and other drugs for that matter) can result in a suspension of your license and registration for 6 months up to 2 years. In order to add this additional penalty the Court must only find that the commission of the crime involved the use of a vehicle. So, yes, if you transport marijuana in a vehicle and get caught, you may lose your driving privileges. For more information regarding the legislator trying to lessen the penalties for marijuana crimes click here.
Should you find yourself facing a marijuana charge in Indiana you may be facing prison time or other substantial penalties such as probation. Many times in these cases there are search and seizure issues that are fairly complex and could substantially impact the outcome on your case. The Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower understand the law regarding marijuana related crimes and stand at the ready to help you with your criminal charges. For more information regarding our criminal practice click here. For more information about the substantial criminal law experience of our attorneys click here. You can also contact us by calling 317-870-0019.