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First-time Drug Offender

First-time Drug Offender Attorney in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Standing up for people charged with first-time possession in Indiana

These days, illicit drugs are readily available even without looking for them. One poor decision in a moment of uncertainty can land you on the wrong side of the law. Suddenly you’re facing tough consequences, despite having no prior record of criminal behavior. If you are charged as a first-time drug offender in Indiana, The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey in Fort Wayne will provide the experienced representation you need. In addition to a determined defense, our firm works for a resolution that can restore your clean record so that one mistake won’t turn the rest of your life upside down 

Could you go to jail for first-time drug possession in Indiana?

Indiana’s harsh anti-drug laws make jail time a distinct possibility, even for a first conviction. Penalties are based on the Indiana sentencing guidelines, which depend in part on the type of drug involved. Drugs are ranked by schedules according to their potential for abuse and their accepted medical uses. They range from Schedule I drugs, such as heroin and ecstasy, to Schedule V drugs, such as cough medicines with small amounts of codeine. 

Possession of Schedule I, II or III drugs can be a felony, even for first-timers. The following penalties generally apply to these possessory amounts:

  • At least one gram but less than five grams — Level 5 felony (one to six years in prison)
  • At least five grams but less than 10 grams — Level 4 felony (two to 12 years in prison)
  • At least 10 grams but less than 28 grams — Level 3 felony (three to 16 years in prison)
  • At least 28 grams — Level 2 felony (10 to 30 years in prison)

These sentencing ranges can be altered upward if there are enhancing circumstances, such as proximity to a school, the presence of a child or possession of a firearm. All felonies carry a maximum $10,000 fine as well. 

Common defenses for first-time drug offenders in Indiana

If you are charged with drug possession, you might have these defenses:

  • Lack of possession — You were unaware of the drugs, did not exercise control over them, had been duped into holding them or were holding them under duress or coercion.
  • Valid prescription — Possession of certain drugs is only illegal without a doctor’s prescription.
  • Entrapment — Law enforcement enticed you into taking possession of the drugs when you would not otherwise have done so. Or the police or someone acting for them actually planted the drugs so they could make an arrest.
  • Procedural defenses — If police violated your rights through an unlawful search, the drug evidence seized is not admissible in court. If drug evidence has been lost or if there are problems with its chain of custody, the authorities might have insufficient evidence to prove a violation. 

The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. We gather and present evidence of any facts or circumstances that could weaken the case against you.

Diversion programs for first time drug offenders in Fort Wayne

An accused person with a clean record can be eligible for the diversion program known as drug court, which means that in lieu of punishment, the person can be ordered to undergo drug education and/or treatment. This allows the person to avoid having a conviction on their record.

How a Fort Wayne drug offense attorney can help 

An experienced drug crimes lawyer can help a first-time defendant get the best possible outcome. In addition to fighting the charges, we can negotiate pleas to lesser charges and argue the appropriateness of drug court. We can also stress mitigating factors that may lessen the penal consequences. 

Contact an experience criminal defense attorney to fight Indiana drug charges

The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey provides solid criminal defense representation for first-time drug charge defendants. For a free consultation, please contact the firm online or call us at 260-222-7364.

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Our Office
  • Fort Wayne Office
    1519 Spy Run Ave.
    Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805
    Phone: 260-437-0197
    Fax: 260-745-4703