If you are charged with trafficking drugs in the state of Indiana, you may wonder about the penalties relating to controlled substances. Common drug crimes include possession, delivery, and trafficking.
Indiana carries very harsh penalties for drug trafficking. It is essential to understand the laws and consequences of trafficking.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking offenses are sometimes called “distribution.” A drug trafficking charge in Indiana does not require the perpetrator to sell, deliver, or purchase illegal drugs.
Trafficking charges may become applicable because of the weight of the controlled substance in question.
It is important to answer the following questions about drug trafficking:
- What type of charge is drug trafficking? A felony.
- Is drug trafficking a federal offense? Yes.
- Is trafficking a more severe charge than possession? Yes.
If you have questions about how this type of criminal charge applies in your case, it is critical to speak with a skilled attorney.
What Are Indiana Drug Possession & Trafficking Charges?
There are several types of drug trafficking in the state of Indiana. The drug trafficking penalties that you face will depend on the specific charges against you.
Make sure to speak with an accomplished legal professional to learn how to beat a drug trafficking charge. Drug trafficking laws are categorized by their level of severity.
Under federal law, controlled substances are classified by different “schedules.” The five schedules of controlled substances are defined as follows:
• Schedule I
Schedule I drugs are considered addictive. They have no accepted medicinal uses. Even with the supervision of a trained medical professional, they are considered legally unsafe.
• Schedule II
Schedule II drugs are also considered very addictive, but they do have some accepted medical use. These substances are thought to present a high risk of dependency.
• Schedule III
Schedule III substances present a very low risk of abuse. These drugs have accepted medical uses and only present a moderate dependency risk.
• Schedule IV and V
Schedule IV and V drugs present a low potential for addiction or dependence and have widely accepted medical uses.
These scheduling categories are determined by the federal Controlled Substances Act. Because Schedule I substances are considered to be the most dangerous, they often carry the heaviest penalties. Common examples of Schedule I drugs include:
In a drug trafficking case, the person charged may face both state and federal charges.
Key Elements of Drug Trafficking Offenses
Because of the broad range of trafficking charges and the risk of incarceration, it is critical to understand the key elements of these criminal cases.
One of the most important elements in any drug trafficking case is the quantity of the controlled substance.
With the quantity of illicit substances, prosecutors may attempt to prove that the person had an intent to deliver or manufacture the drug. However, the quantity will influence your trafficking charge in many ways. Because of this, you should speak with a knowledgeable defense lawyer if you face trafficking charges.
— Intent and Possession
Being in possession of a controlled substance is not enough to successfully convict a defendant on drug trafficking charges. Prosecutors in these cases must show that the defendant was in willing and intentional possession of a certain amount of drugs.
— Manufacture, Sale, or Movement
In addition to the weight or quantity of drugs, evidence that you plan to sell or manufacture controlled substances will be relevant. However, many people believe that the state must find this type of evidence to charge you with drug trafficking.
This view is a misconception. All that is needed to charge someone with drug trafficking in Indiana is willing possession of a certain amount of a controlled substance. You do not have to sell or ship drugs to face criminal trafficking charges.
Drug Trafficking and Possession Penalties in Indiana
Punishment for drug trafficking in specific cases depends on many different factors. So, what is the penalty for drug trafficking? And how long can you get in jail for drug trafficking? There are several legal factors that will determine the answers to these questions.
Even for those who have not been charged before, a drug trafficking conviction in Indiana usually results in incarceration.
Many convictions result in more substantial prison sentences. Depending on the nature of the charge, the person may be punished with a decade or more of incarceration.
In some drug trafficking cases, prosecutors offer the defendant a plea bargain. This means you will agree to accept the charges in exchange for a probationary sentence.
Probation involves being monitored by an officer of the court. When on probation, you will agree to certain court-ordered conditions and requirements. This includes random drug tests and remaining within the state.
In drug trafficking cases, probation may last for several years. However, this type of plea bargain can allow defendants to avoid jail time.
Consequences of Drug Trafficking and Possession
A criminal conviction for drug trafficking may result in consequences beyond fines, probation, or incarceration. Because drug trafficking is a felony offense, a conviction of this type may cause the person to lose some of their basic rights in the United States.
For instance, your right to vote may be restricted. Also, convicts may lose the right to own firearms or apply for federal education loans.
Do not let this happen to you. Speak with a legal professional about your drug trafficking case.
How to Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge: Defenses and Strategies
When you are wondering how to get a drug trafficking charge dismissed, it is important to understand the most viable strategies.
An Indiana defense attorney can help you avoid a severe drug trafficking sentence. Some of the most common legal defense strategies include the following arguments:
- Someone else had access to the drugs
- You had lawful possession
- You did not participate in the transaction
- There was a violation of your rights
If you were not the only person with access to the controlled substance in question, you may be able to defend against criminal charges. This is especially true in the case of rented or borrowed motor vehicles.
Showing that you had a legal prescription for the drugs can also serve as a powerful defense. However, this strategy will not work in the case of drugs that are prohibited in any context.
When you are charged with involvement in a drug-related transaction, other defenses are possible. For instance, your attorney may provide evidence that you were not directly involved in the transaction.
Being present when a crime takes place is not illegal. If you did not participate in the transaction, you may be able to avoid a criminal conviction. Consult with a knowledgeable defense attorney to determine the best strategy for you.
Fighting Drug Trafficking Charges
When you are facing a drug trafficking penalty in the state of Indiana, it is vital to secure reliable legal representation. Drug trafficking is a felony that can carry different penalties depending on the facts of the case.
To speak with an accomplished defense attorney in Indiana, contact Stracci Law Group for a free legal case evaluation.