Sam Shapiro Law Office
Criminal Defense In Bloomington, Indiana
812-336-8192

College is for trying new things, unless they're illegal

Many people who have gone to college remember their days of trying new drugs or drinking too much. The problem is that today's laws are strict, in some cases a great deal more stringent than those in the past. Someone caught with marijuana, or other drugs may not get a warning today. Instead, they likely will end up with criminal charges.

Although college students are generally young adults exploring their freedom for the first time, there's never a good time to drive drunk or try illegal drugs. If you're caught, you could face serious penalties.

Marijuana -- state and federal laws apply

While marijuana is legal in many states, it's not legal in Indiana. The state's laws aren't as harsh as some, but even possessing the drug is a misdemeanor.

There's no question that young adults make mistakes, but should a mistake, like trying marijuana for the first time, end up in fines, penalties or a jail sentence?

What should you do if you're caught in possession of marijuana?

The first thing you need to do is to affirm your rights. You need to know the exact charges you face. Possessing a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor, but possessing 30 grams or more with a prior drug offense could lead to a felony charge. The last thing you need is to find out the charges are more serious than you thought, so take the time to understand the potential penalties and what you can do to reduce the charges against you.

Indiana does allow for a conditional discharge of the allegations for first-time offenders as long as they're willing to meet the court's requirements. For instance, the court may request that the individual goes through drug abuse counseling.

No matter what the situation is, understanding your legal rights and obligations is important. It's possible to prevent this single error from affecting your future.

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