Possession of Marijuana – Indianapolis Defense Attorneys
If you have been accused of possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, you may be taken into custody or simply given a summons to appear in court, depending on the circumstances. Either way, if charged, you will be facing a criminal misdemeanor or felony charge.
Possession of Marijuana
Possession of marijuana of less than 30g is a Class B misdemeanor (IC 35-48-4-11). This carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine. If the person has a prior conviction for possessing marijuana, the offense is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of 365 days in jail and/or a $5000 fine. If the person has a prior conviction of possessing marijuana and is found to posses more than 30g, the offense is enhanced to a Level 6 Felony, carrying a sentence of 6 months to 2 1/2 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Possession of Paraphernalia
Possession of paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor, carrying a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. If the person has a prior conviction for possessing paraphernalia, the offense is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 356 days in jail and maximum fine of $5000. (IC 35-48-4-8.3).
While the debate regarding legalization of marijuana continues around the country, the fact still remains that it is illegal to possess marijuana or drug paraphernalia in Indiana. If you find yourself accused of possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, these charges can have serious consequences and you should seek the advice of counsel who will defend your rights vigorously.
If you are convicted of possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, you may be facing jail time, probation, expensive fines and costs, the loss of job opportunities or housing, the inability to obtain federal financial aid, a driver’s license suspension, or immigration consequences if you are not a U.S. citizen. As former deputy prosecutors in Indianapolis, attorneys Julie Chambers and Katie Kawiecki both have experience prosecuting and defending marijuana and paraphernalia cases, experience they can bring to their clients’ cases in preparing a defense for trial or negotiating a plea.
You’ve Been Charged with Possession of Marijuana. Now What?
If you have been accused possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, the first thing your lawyer will do is look for any possible defenses. Was it actually the client? Was the substance tested properly? Was there actual or constructive possession? Can the state prove possession? Was the client searched? Was the search valid? Were there any constitutional violations that can be used to contest the search and/or arrest? These are just some of the issues that should be reviewed to find weak spots in the state’s case to possibly have the charges dismissed or minimize the penalties.
Additionally, if you were arrested or charged for possession of marijuana or paraphernalia after a traffic stop, there other other important issues to review with your attorney. For example, if a driver is stopped for running a red light, the officer may then claim to smell marijuana in the car in order to develop probable cause to search the vehicle. In other cases, the officer may simply ask for permission to search the car.
However, in Indiana, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion to stop a car and once stopped, the officer must have a legal reason to search the car or the occupants. Often times, though, officers search vehicles or people illegally, possibly because they didn’t have probable cause, they didn’t properly advise a driver or they didn’t follow protocol. If a vehicle is stopped or searched in violation of state or federal laws and marijuana or paraphernalia are discovered, those items may be suppressed, possibly leading to a dismissal or reduced penalties.
Chambers Law Office Can Help. Contact Us Today!
The attorneys are Chambers Law Office focuses the majority of their practice on criminal defense, including drug cases such as possession of marijuana or paraphernalia charges. They will take the time to meet with you to make sure you understand the charges against you and all of your possible options, listening to your concerns, understanding your goals, and answering all of your questions throughout the case. If you or a family member have been charged with possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, contact Chambers Law Office today!