According to FBI statistics, law enforcement agencies nationwide arrested more than 1.5 million people on drug offenses in 2019. Those arrests resulted in state and federal charges ranging from misdemeanors for possession of small amounts of drugs to more serious felonies with lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines.
If you’re charged with a drug crime, you need to retain experienced legal counsel that can help develop a defense. The team of criminal defense attorneys at Alvarez Law Office, serving South Bend and Indianapolis, Indiana, stands ready to represent you. We will protect your constitutional rights at every phase of the proceedings. Our attorneys will also examine the facts and the evidence, explain the law, and recommend the best possible solution.
What Are Drug Crimes?
At Alvarez Law, we handle a full range of drug-related accusations, including charges related to cocaine, crack, heroin and other opiates and opioids, ecstasy, methamphetamine, pain killers, club drugs, hallucinogens, and marijuana, including charges of
- Drug possession
- Drug trafficking
- Sale and distribution of drugs
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug cultivation
- Drug importation
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
The government has long targeted the drug trade as a serious crime against society, which also lends itself to other types of criminal behavior. Some drugs are legal, of course. Many others represent strictly regulated ones, available only via a doctor’s prescription, or those considered completely illegal. The categories of drug crimes include the following:
- Drug possession.
- Drug trafficking.
- Sale and distribution of drugs.
- Drug manufacturing.
- Drug cultivation.
- Drug importation.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia.
Various degrees of offenses exist within each violation. Every case is unique. You can face charges for more serious crimes based on variables such as the amount of drug involved, your intent, the intended recipient, and whether you or other individuals committed related crimes.
In Indiana, if someone commits a drug crime in a school zone, the individual is subject to 20 to 50 years in prison. Less severe offenses carry penalties of six months to a year in jail. Fines can be between $5,000 and $10,000 per offense.
You can also face criminal drug charges from multiple jurisdictions. Both the federal government and states such as Indiana enforce separate drug laws that lead to serious penalties.
Indiana law enforcement reported about 12,000 arrests for drug abuse-related offenses in 2020, more in Indiana than 29 other states. Drug-related arrests in aggregate may be higher because of statistical methods.
The attorneys at Alvarez Law Office can represent you across these jurisdictions.
What Should You Do If You’ve Received a Drug Crimes Charge?
Our best advice is to remain calm should you be placed under arrest for a drug crime. It is important to remember that a charge is an accusation, not a conviction. A charge is the first step in a process that affords you fundamental rights as a citizen. Under our country’s legal system, the government must prove its accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Often, your own words provide a basis for proof. It is also important to say as little as possible throughout the entire process of the arrest. Only your attorney should make any statements about the circumstances involved and only as part of official court proceedings. As soon as you receive an opportunity, you should contact a criminal defense attorney, such as a member of the criminal defense team at Alvarez Law Office.
What Will Alvarez Law Office Do for You?
Our team of criminal defense attorneys will stand up for you at every point during a case to protect your rights. We believe wholeheartedly in the presumption of innocence and conduct our cases accordingly. The government is granted enormous power and devotes extensive resources to enforcing criminal law. Our job is to hold government officials accountable for their obligations under the law.
At every juncture, we will question whether the evidence is sufficient for a conviction. We will look at the circumstances of your initial contact with the police to determine if law enforcement officials acted properly in stopping you and had probable cause for an arrest. We will question the location of the drugs, whether you had access to them, and their actual ownership. In addition, we will examine the case to look for signs of illegal entrapment and explore whether law enforcement officials properly informed you about your rights. If government officials did not follow through with required procedures at any one of those points, you may have grounds to have the charges dismissed.
If the case continues forward, prison is not a foregone conclusion. If you are a first offender, we can advocate for including you in a diversionary program in place of serving a jail sentence. Diversionary programs exist to give individuals a second chance and provide resources for treatment if needed.
Get Help and Support
Separately from the course of criminal charges, the attorney team at Alvarez Law Office also wants to help those struggling with drug abuse find the support they need. This help may involve seeking treatment support from a qualified rehab facility that can apply the latest thinking in addiction management to break the cycle.
The state recently created NextLevel Recovery Indiana, an online portal that centralizes resources available for those with substance abuse issues and provides professional support and knowledge for first responders, prescribers, and the community at large.
One of NextLevel Recovery’s programs focuses on both diversion as an alternative to jail and support following a jail sentence. The program’s overarching goal is to reduce the number of repeat offenders by 20% by promoting recovery through community support and treatment and intervention.
Develop a Defense With Alvarez Law Office
Drug crimes carry substantial penalties in terms of prison time and fines. If you’ve received a drug crime accusation, you need legal representation right away. The criminal attorneys and professional staff at Alvarez Law Office offer extensive experience as defense counsel in drug-related and other criminal matters for clients across northwestern Indiana, including Crown Point, Merrillville, Hammond, Gary, and other parts of the Chicagoland area. We will evaluate your case and provide an unflinching assessment of the best steps forward while fighting for your rights.
Our team handles all types of felonies and misdemeanors and includes former prosecutors who understand how a case gets treated. Exercise your right to an attorney and call us or contact us online today. Your initial consultation is free.