Marijuana Charges In Indiana
The majority of the states in the nation have legalized marijuana. However, in Indiana, marijuana is still illegal. Possession of marijuana in Indiana is a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted of this crime, you will be sentenced to between 0 and 180 days in a county jail and made to pay a fine of up to $1,000. Penalties for marijuana crimes get worse depending on, for instance, the amount of marijuana involved and whether there is a prior conviction. For instance, possessing at least 30 grams of marijuana with a previous conviction for a drug crime is a Level 6 felony. Fortunately, all hope is not lost if you face a marijuana charge in Indiana. You can take several steps to avoid the consequences of a marijuana conviction. Below are some of these steps:
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees criminal suspects the right to remain silent. If you are facing a marijuana charge, it is best that you invoke this right and avoid answering police questions without an attorney present. Talking to the police without an attorney present could result in you making self-incriminating statements. In other words, it could result in you saying things that the police can use against you.
Challenging Unlawfully Obtained Evidence
Another way to fight a marijuana charge is to challenge the means by which the police obtained the evidence. Firstly, if you were arrested after being pulled over, you can try to show that the reason for the stop was unjustified. In Indiana, a police officer can only pull you over if they have a lawful reason for doing so. Secondly, you could try showing that the search that led to the discovery of marijuana was illegal. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees people the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If a police officer does not have a search warrant, they can only conduct a search of your property under limited circumstances, although the smell of marijuana often provides them with the exception they need.
Show Weaknesses in Establishing Constructive Possession
In Indiana, the State can pursue a conviction for possession of contraband under either of two theories. The first is actual possession, and the second is constructive possession. Actual possession means the marijuana was found on your person, and constructive possession means you had knowledge of the marijuana, even though it was not on your person, and had the intent and ability to control the marijuana. If you were arrested and charged on the ground of “constructive possession,” your attorney can focus on the weaknesses related to proving your knowledge of the drug or your intent and ability to control the marijuana.
In Indiana, the entrapment defense can be used if a person committed a criminal offense because they were incited or induced by a police officer. The entrapment defense applies if a police officer acted with the intent to obtain evidence to use in a prosecution against someone. This defense is rarely successful, but a qualified attorney can look into whether the defense applies to your case.
Contact an Indianapolis Marijuana Lawyer Today
Being arrested and charged with a marijuana crime in Indiana can result in harsh consequences. Fortunately, an attorney can help.
If you are facing a marijuana charge, contact an experienced Indiana marijuana lawyer today. We can help you develop the best defense strategy.