Drug Penalties

Narcotic is one of the more loosely defined terms in the criminal code. Generally speaking, if you are charged with a drug offense for allegedly violating either State or Federal Law, you are being accused of possession or distributing a controlled substance that is regulated by the criminal code.

Unlike most criminal offenses, State and Federal authorities have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute drug related crimes. That being said, it is not common to see federal drug charges brought absent extenuating circumstances. More often than not drug charges are brought at the local level in State court.

If you are facing drug charges or the prospect of charges it is important for you to understand the possible penalties associated with these charges. If you are charged federally you may face mandatory minimum prison sentences and enhanced guideline calculations based on a variety of factors. The federal sentencing guidelines for narcotic related offenses can be found under USSG §2D1.1.

Under Indiana law, the penalties for possessing and/or distributing cocaine, methamphetamines, or heroin all fall under the umbrella Indiana Code 35-48-4. The level of felony that you may face depends on a variety of factors including the weight of the suspected drug.

Marijuana penalties are also included within Indiana Code 35-48-4, but the range of penalties is far less severe than the narcotics discussed above. Although, marijuana charges are typically only misdemeanors those charges can be enhanced to a felony under circumstances. These penalties can be found in Indiana Code 35-48-4-10 and Indiana Code 35-48-4-10. Conversely, if you have never previously been convicted of a drug crime then a conditional discharge may be available to you.

Given the wide disparity for potential penalties in drug related prosecutions, make sure you consult with an experienced attorney who can assist you in understanding these complex sentencing guidelines and statutes.

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