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Drug Testing and Probation in Indiana

Drug testing and probation in Indiana often go hand-in-hand. Given this, it’s important for all probationers to understand that failing a drug test can lead to serious consequences. In some cases, in fact, it could result in the probationer being sent back to jail.

This blog post aims to provide a brief overview of Indiana’s probation laws, how drug testing is typically conducted during probation, and the potential penalties for failing such tests. However, if you’re currently concerned about an upcoming drug test, or have recently failed a test, it’s best that you call the Indianapolis probation violation attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. As former deputy prosecutors, our lead attorneys have extensive experience handling criminal matters related to probation and can capably represent you during this time.

To speak with one of our Indiana criminal defense attorneys today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Overview of Probation in Indiana

Indiana Probation Laws

In cases where an individual is found guilty of a minor, non-violent offense, they might receive a suspended sentence accompanied by a period of time on probation. This approach in Indiana serves as a beneficial substitute for jail time, offering those convicted the chance for rehabilitation under judicial oversight, instead of being under the management of the Department of Corrections.

Indiana’s probation system is regulated by the legal framework detailed in Indiana Code 35-38-2. The initial chapter of this section mandates that courts, upon assigning probation, must furnish the individual with a detailed list of probation conditions and the potential repercussions of not adhering to these conditions.

The most common probation conditions, which a court might enforce on an individual under probation, are outlined in Indiana Code 35-38-2-2.3 and several subsequent sections.

Example Probation Requirements in Indiana:

  • Regular reporting to a probation officer as per court or officer instructions.
  • Engaging in consistent, appropriate employment.
  • Diligently following an educational path or vocational training program.
  • Staying or participating in a designated facility for training, leisure, or housing of probationers.
  • Providing for dependents and fulfilling family obligations.
  • Avoiding possession of firearms or other lethal weapons.
  • Contributing to the community through unpaid work.
  • Undergoing periodic drug testing for probation in Indiana.
  • Seeking treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues, which may include inpatient detoxification or FDA-approved treatments for opioid or alcohol dependence.

Drug Testing While on Probation in Indiana

Drug testing during probation in Indiana is a common occurrence. As clearly stated by Indiana Code 35-38-2-2.3(a)(20), courts may require a probationer to “periodically undergo a laboratory chemical test or series of chemical tests as specified by the court to detect and confirm the presence of a controlled substance.” Furthermore, the law states that “the person on probation is responsible for any charges resulting from a test and shall have the results of any test under this subdivision reported to the person’s probation officer by the laboratory.”

Typically, the drug tests administered during probation in Indiana will be urine analysis tests, but a probation department may ask a probationer to submit to a blood, breath, or hair follicle test. According to relevant state documentation, all sample collections will be observed by an individual who is the same gender as the probationer, as listed on their government issued identification.

At a minimum, a person undergoing drug testing during probation in Indiana shall be screened for the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis
  • Opiates
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Tramadol
  • Buprenorphine
  • Synthetic Marijuana
  • Fentanyl
  • Methamphetamine

In addition to the substances listed above, probationers may also be screened for any other drugs that are relevant to their own personal history, whether through self-reporting or other documents. Furthermore, for urine tests, the vendor testing the samples will run a creatinine test. This is done to detect diluted samples aimed at obscuring positive results.

Generally, for all negative test results, the testing vendor will notify the probation department within 24 hours of the specimen being delivered to the laboratory. Positive test results, on the other hand, will be provided to the department within 72 hours of delivery to the laboratory. This is due to the extra time it takes to conduct confirmation testing.

Potential Penalties for Probation Violations in Indiana

If a person fails drug testing during probation in Indiana, at any time before their probation period is terminated, Indiana Code 35-38-2-3(h) allows the court may impose one or more of the following probation violation consequences

  • Continue the person on probation, with or without modifying or the conditions
  • Extend the person’s probationary period for not more than one year beyond the original probationary period
  • Order execution of all or part of the sentence that was suspended at the time of initial sentencing (i.e. send the person back to prison)

When it comes to failing a drug test during probation in Indiana, the best-case scenario is that the court simply chooses to continue the probation with modified conditions. Typically, in these types of situations, modified conditions include more frequent drug testing, participation in a substance abuse program, or the requirement to attend/reside in a facility established for person on probation. After that, the next best scenario would be an extension of the person’s probationary period. For a single failed drug test, an extension would be minimal; however, for a second or third failed test, it could be for the maximum period of one year.

Under the most serious circumstances, a failed drug test during probation could result in the probationer being sent back to prison. However, for most individuals and situations, this would be a rare occurrence. Typically, this severe penalty is reserved for repeat offenders or individuals with an extensive, problematic drug history.

Concerned about Drug Testing and Probation in Indiana?

If you’re concerned about the results of mandatory drug testing during probation in Indiana, the best course of action would be to contact an Indiana probation violation lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our team can help you evaluate your options, including whether to self-report a possible violation prior to your next test.

The criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have decades of experience in handling criminal matters of this nature. We understand what’s at stake and what it’s going to take to keep on the right track moving forward. To speak with one of our Indianapolis defense attorneys call 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.

Drug Testing and Probation in Indiana
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Drug Testing and Probation in Indiana
This article discusses the topic of drug testing and probation in Indiana
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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