A Look at Conditional Discharges in Indiana
Conditional Discharges in Indiana
Have you or a loved one found yourself in a situation where you were pulled over or came into some other contact with the police and marijuana was found on you? Are you now facing criminal charges for possession of marijuana? If you do not have a previous conviction of an offense related to a controlled substance and are charged with possession of marijuana as a misdemeanor, you may qualify for a conditional discharge which ultimately ends in a dismissal.
What are you facing?
First, what are the possible penalties you may be facing for a possession of marijuana charge? It is a Class B Misdemeanor to knowingly or intentionally possess less than thirty grams of marijuana. If someone has a prior conviction for a drug offense and possess less than thirty grams of marijuana, it is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor. It is a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior conviction for a drug offense and the person possesses at least thirty grams of Marijuana. I.C. 35-48-4-11.
A Level 6 felony carries a potential penalty between six months and two and one-half years of imprisonment, with the advisory sentence being one year, In addition, the person may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars. I.C. 35-50-2-7 (b). A person who commits a Class A misdemeanor can be imprisoned for up to one year and may be fined up to five thousand dollars. I.C. 35-50-3-2. A Class B misdemeanor carries a potential penalty of not more than one hundred eighty days of imprisonment and may be fined up to one thousand dollars. I.C. 35-50-3-3.
Is a dismissal possible?
So where does the possibility of dismissal come in? If a person has no prior conviction of a controlled substance offense in Indiana or in any other jurisdiction and pleads guilty to possession of marijuana as a Class B misdemeanor, the court, without entering a judgment of conviction and with the consent of the alleged defendant, may defer further proceedings and place the person in the custody of the court under conditions determined by the court. These conditions set by the court are typically an alternative form of probation where as long as the person does not pick up any new criminal cases, does not have any positive drug screens, or fail any other conditions the court has applied to them, the court will dismiss the charges against the person.
So what does all this mean? If you do not have any previous drug convictions, and follow the conditions the court may ask you to do, you can avoid receiving a criminal conviction for this particular case. This is what is called a conditional discharge. Other than having a clean drug criminal history, defendants are only eligible for a conditional discharge if possession of marijuana is the only charge they are facing. For example, if you are pulled over for operating while intoxicated and are also charged with possession of marijuana, it is not likely you will be eligible for a conditional discharge.
Although a conditional discharge results in a dismissal, record of the arrest will still be on your criminal history. In order to have the arrest record sealed from public view, you will need to have it expunged. Check out our blog on expungements for more information!
Contact Banks & Brower | (317) 870-0019
The experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers at Banks & Brower, LLC have successfully litigated numerous controlled substance-based crimes with great results. If you or a loved one is facing a marijuana or controlled substance charge, give our offices a call to arrange a free initial consultation. Email or call us 24/7/365 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.870.0019. Whether you are wrongfully accused and/or fear that you may be culpable, we represent anyone and everyone, regardless of guilt or innocence. We stand ready to help you through this difficult time.