Indiana Drug Dealing Defense Lawyer
If you are currently facing charges related to drug dealing or intent to distribute in Indiana, it’s vital to understand that the potential penalties you face are both severe and life-altering. If convicted, you could face up to 30 years in prison; and even upon release, you’d have to carry the incredible burden of a felony on your criminal record. Given this, the best thing that you can do right now is to speak with an experienced Indiana drug dealing defense lawyer. Your entire future is at stake, and you’ll want to give your attorney ample time to build a sound defense aimed at reducing, minimizing or having the charges against you dismissed altogether.
If you’re not sure where to start, the Indiana drug crime attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP stand ready to represent you. Our team, made up of former deputy prosecutors, has the insight and experience you need to minimize your potential penalties, or even have the charges against you dismissed.
Indiana Drug Dealing Defense Attorney: Know the Laws
Whether you’re being investigated or are already facing drug dealing charges in Indiana, it’s vital to understand the seriousness of the offense. To do so, it’s best to start with the “Offenses Relating to Controlled Substances” statute located in Indiana Code 35-48-4. This chapter contains laws concerning a variety of different drug-related offenses, including drug dealing or intent to distribute. For brevity, we’ll examine the more common offenses. However, if the offense that you’re looking for is not included, you should take the time to review the chapter yourself or consult with an Indiana drug crimes attorney.
Dealing Marijuana, Hash Oil, Hashish, or Salvia in Indiana
The Indiana marijuana laws are located in Indiana Code 35-48-4-10. As stated in this section, any individual who knowingly or intentionally manufactures (or finances the manufacturing) delivers (or finances the delivery), or possesses marijuana, hash oil, hashish, or salvia with the intent to take any of the preceding actions commits a Class A Misdemeanor.
While a Class A Misdemeanor may not seem like the worst possible outcome, an experienced Indiana drug dealing attorney would also want to see if any of the enhancing circumstances in Indiana may apply to the case. If so, that could elevate the offense to a Level 6 or Level 5 felony. For example, if the individual in question has a prior conviction for a drug offense AND the amount of marijuana involved is less than 30 grams of marijuana or less than 5 grams of hash oil, hashish, or salvia, they could be convicted of a Level 6 felony. Furthermore, if the amount of marijuana or related substance involved is between 30 grams and 10 pounds of marijuana or between 5 grams and 300 grams of hash oil, hashish, or salvia, the person could be convicted of a Level 5 felony.
Dealing Cocaine or Narcotics in Indiana
Per Indiana Code 35-48-4-1, a person commits a Level 5 felony in Indiana when they knowingly or intentionally manufacture; finance the manufacture of; deliver or finance the delivery of cocaine or a narcotic drug, pure or adulterated, classified in Schedule I or II. In addition, the same charge can be placed upon a person who possesses, with intent to manufacture; finance the manufacture of; deliver; or finance the delivery of cocaine or a narcotic drug (such as fentanyl, heroin or other opioids), pure or adulterated, classified in Schedule I or II.
Like nearly every other drug crime in Indiana, convictions for dealing cocaine or a narcotic can be escalated to higher-level felony under certain circumstances, including:
- Level 4 Felony: the amount of drug involved is between 1-5 grams; the amount is less than 1 gram but enhancing circumstances apply; the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of 0-90 days is between 3-7 grams.
- Level 3 Felony: the amount of drug involved is between 5-10 grams; the amount is between 1-5 grams but enhancing circumstances apply; the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of 0-90 days is between 7-12 grams or between 3-7 grams and enhancing circumstances apply.
- Level 2 Felony: the amount of drug involved is over 10 grams; the amount is between 5-10 grams but enhancing circumstances apply; the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of 0-90 days is over 12 grams or between 7-12 grams and enhancing circumstances apply.
One element of this law that an Indiana drug dealing defense attorney will examine closely, if relevant to the case, is the “amount of the drug aggregated over a period of 90-days. This is a newer sentence enhancement aimed at targeting heroin dealers in Indiana. Basically, it allows prosecutors to enhance the sentence of a heroin dealer based on the amount of drug they’ve sold during a 90-day period, rather than the amount they were caught trafficking or possessing at the time of their arrest. This is most common in situations where police have been investigating a dealer over a longer period of time. However, for the prosecution to successfully deploy this enhancing circumstance, they’ll need to provide ample evidence of the alleged amount of heroin dealt during that 90-day window.
Dealing Prescription Pills or Drugs Classified as Schedule I, II or III
As clearly stated in Indiana Code 5-48-4-2, when a person knowingly or intentionally manufactures; finances the manufacture of; delivers or finances the delivery of a controlled substance or controlled substance analog, pure or adulterated, classified in schedule I (not including marijuana, hash oil, hashish, or salvia) or a controlled substance, or controlled substance analog, pure or adulterated, classified in schedule II or III; they commit a Level 6 felony in Indiana.
In addition, the same charge can be placed on a person who possesses, with intent to manufacture; finance the manufacture of; deliver; or finance the delivery of a controlled substance or controlled substance analog, pure or adulterated, classified in schedule I, II or III. However, a person can only be convicted for “intent” if there is sufficient evidence, in addition to the weight of the drug, that the person truly intended to manufacture, finance the manufacture of, deliver, or finance the delivery of the drug; or the amount of the drug involved is at least twenty-eight (28) grams.
Again, a conviction under this section of Indiana law can be escalated to a more serious felony under certain circumstances, including:
- Level 5 Felony: the amount of drug involved is between 1-5 grams or the amount is less than 1 gram but enhancing circumstances apply
- Level 4 Felony: the amount of drug involved is between 5-10 grams or the amount is between 1-5 grams but enhancing circumstances apply;
- Level 3 Felony: the amount of drug involved between 10-28 grams or the amount is between 5-10 grams but enhancing circumstances apply
- Level 2 Felony: if the amount of drug involved is over 28 or the amount is between 10-28 grams but enhancing circumstances apply
How an Indiana Drug Dealing Defense Lawyer Can Help You
The Indiana laws regarding drug dealing, trafficking, and intent to distribute can be voluminous and complex, and therefore, it’s best for the accused to retain the services of an experienced and skilled Indiana drug dealing defense lawyer. They’ll be able to evaluate the strength of the prosecution’s case against you and help you build a sound defense strategy aimed at minimizing the potential penalties or having the case dismissed altogether.
When it comes to charges related to drug dealing, the Indiana drug crime attorneys from Keffer Hirschauer LLP will generally consider several factors regarding your case, including:
- The controlled substance listed in the charge(s) against you
- The variety of charges against you. For example, is it just drug dealing, or is it a combination of charges, such as possession, manufacturing, and dealing?
- The circumstances surrounding your drug dealing charge
- Additional factors associated with the offense. For example, the presence of weapons or other people involved in the alleged crime
- The context of the arrest or investigation and whether it demonstrates a violation of your constitutional rights
- Any/all statements that others involved in the case have made to law enforcement or the prosecutor’s office
Furthermore, an experienced Indiana drug dealing defense lawyer can help you understand the severity of the charges placed against you and the possible extent of the penalties you face. To do so, they will refer to the Indiana sentencing guidelines and the advisory sentencing range given the circumstances of your drug dealing charges in Indiana.
Whether you are currently being investigated or have already been charged with an offense related to drug dealing in Indiana, it’s vital that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Keffer Hirschauer LLP employs some of the best drug attorneys in Indianapolis, and they stand prepared to begin building your defense. To speak with an attorney today, call 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.
Common Defense Strategies Used in Drug Dealing Cases
When building a defense for someone facing drug dealing charges in Indiana, the first place an experienced attorney would look is the statutory defenses set forth in Indiana Criminal Code. For example, Indiana Code 35-48-4-16 sets circumstances that, if sufficiently demonstrated, can lower a charge of dealing within 500 feet of a school or park (a higher-level offense) to a simple possession charge.
If the intricacies of Indiana drug law don’t provide a solid defense, an attorney should seek to use other available defenses using your rights under the US Constitution or Indiana Constitution. They may also try to focus their defense on the prosecution’s evidence (or lack thereof).
Examples of Drug Dealing Defenses:
- Showing that an unreasonable search and seizure has occurred, which warrants the suppression of evidence, as Hoosiers are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by Indiana Constitution, Article I, Section 11
- Demonstrating that the state’s allegation of constructive possession beyond a reasonable doubt is not clearly supported by the evidence they’ve set forth
- Clearly showing that state’s case against you relies solely on circumstantial evidence
Need to Speak with an Indiana Drug Dealing Defense Attorney Today?
If you need to speak with an Indiana drug dealing defense attorney today, you can always contact the Indianapolis criminal defense law firm of Keffer Hirschauer LLP. The former deputy prosecutors at our firm can ably and strategically manage all evidentiary matters related to the case against you and will work tirelessly to protect both your constitutional rights and your freedoms. But you need to act now. The criminal penalties for drug dealing in Indiana are incredibly harsh and life-altering, and your attorney will need adequate time to build the best defense possible. Don’t procrastinate; speak with an attorney today by calling 317-751-7186; or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.