For many young people, college is a time of experimentation. From dating a number of people to attending wild parties, there are a lot of opportunities to learn by making mistakes. Unfortunately, some college mistakes have more severe consequences than others.
Getting charged with marijuana possession while in college could be the end of your education. Your college or university could expel you after a drug crime conviction. You will also lose your federal student aid if you are convicted of or plead guilty to marijuana possession or any other drug crimes.
Social attitudes about marijuana have changed dramatically in the last decade. Most people view it as comparable to alcohol, but the law does not. Indiana has very strict laws about marijuana possession, and students charged with possession could face lifelong consequences for a single mistake.
In addition to losing your federal student aid, you will likely also face criminal penalties. Combine that with a criminal record that will make finding housing and getting a job difficult, and marijuana possession can change the course of your life.
Marijuana possession is not a minor offense in Indiana
There are a variety of different drug crimes in Indiana, from possession to manufacturing or trafficking. Students may think that because possession is common and relatively minor compared with cultivation or sale, penalties won't be severe. This is completely incorrect. Indiana takes marijuana possession very seriously. Being charged with the possession of any amount, even the butt end of a joint, could cost you jail time and fines. Possession of any amount can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail.
Charges of possession of any amount up to 30 grams when you have a previous drug offense on your record could leave you facing a year in prison and as much as $5,000 in fines. Failing to take your marijuana possession charge could end up costing you your freedom, your education and a lot of money.
Fight marijuana possession charges properly
Maybe your roommate was the one who was smoking, or maybe you were holding a friend's backpack when you were stopped. Depending on the details of your situation, your attorney can help determine what your best defensive strategy will be.
With the help of an experienced attorney, first time offenders may be considered for a conditional discharge. A lawyer can also request that the courts levy a less serious charge against you or dismiss the charges if you complete drug education and abuse counseling. There are many different approaches, depending on the circumstances of your arrest.