Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Attorney Handles Marijuana Charges
Aggressive defense to misdemeanor and felony pot charges
Although many states have moved to reform their marijuana laws, Indiana does not allow medical use of marijuana nor has it decriminalized recreational use of the drug. Possession and sale violate state and federal law, and convictions come with harsh penalties. At the Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey, we work hard to protect our clients’ rights. If you have been arrested anywhere in Indiana for pot possession or sale, we can provide the vigorous defense you need to obtain the best possible outcome.
Penalties for possession of marijuana in Indiana
According to the Indiana Code, anyone who “knowingly or intentionally” possesses, cultivates or grows marijuana, or fails to destroy marijuana plants known to be growing on that person’s premises, is guilty a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
The offense is a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior conviction for a drug offense and possesses at least 30 grams of marijuana. A Level 6 felony carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one-half year.
Penalties for dealing marijuana in Indiana
According to the Indiana Code, anyone who “knowingly or intentionally” manufactures, finances the manufacture of, delivers or finances the delivery of marijuana; or possesses with intent to manufacture, finance the manufacture of, deliver or finance the delivery of marijuana, commits a Class A misdemeanor. For a conviction, the law requires evidence “in addition to the weight of the drug” that the person intended to deal. Certain circumstances can elevate the seriousness of the offense:
- Level 6 felony — If the alleged offender has a prior conviction for a drug offense and the amount of marijuana is less than 30 grams, or the amount of marijuana is at least 30 grams but less than 10 pounds. The mandatory minimum sentence is one year, and the maximum is one-half year.
- Level 5 felony — If the alleged offender has a prior conviction for a drug offense and the amount of marijuana is at least 30 grams but less than 10 pounds; or at least 10 pounds of marijuana; or the offense involved a sale to a minor. The mandatory minimum sentence is one year, and the maximum is six years.
Before you discuss these charges with a prosecutor, make sure you contact an experienced drug crime lawyer for your defense.
Pretrial diversion: leniency for first-time offenders
The Indiana Code provides for conditional discharge for a first offense for marijuana possession. A person who has no prior conviction relating to controlled substances may plead guilty to possession of marijuana as a misdemeanor. The court may then, without entering a judgment, defer further proceedings and place the offender under supervision of the court. The offender can then enter a pretrial diversion program and receive counseling, treatment and perhaps perform community service, as the court feels necessary. If the offender violates any condition of the program, the court may enter a conviction. However, if the offender fulfills the conditions, the court dismisses the charges.
Pretrial diversion is often beneficial for eligible defendants. We have had success qualifying our clients and negotiating appropriate conditions with the court.
Get effective defense representation in Fort Wayne for marijuana charges
By now, most Americans have a very casual attitude toward marijuana. But if you’ve been arrested for possession or possession with intent, you can’t afford to relax. Get aggressive defense representation from a reputable trial lawyer at the Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey. Call us today at 260-209-1666 or contact our Fort Wayne office online.