Conditional Discharge for Marijuana
A first-time Possession of Marijuana (less than 30 grams) charge is a class B misdemeanor in Indiana. A class B misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
But there are ways to avoid a conviction and potential jail time for first-time marijuana offenders in Indiana. One is what’s commonly referred to as the conditional discharge.
IC 35-48-4-12 states: “If a person who has no prior conviction of an offense under this article or under a law of another jurisdiction relating to controlled substances pleads guilty to possession of marijuana, hashish, salvia, or a synthetic drug or a synthetic drug lookalike substance as a misdemeanor, the court, without entering a judgment of conviction and with the consent of the person, may defer further proceedings and place the person in the custody of the court under Indiana Code 2015 conditions determined by the court. Upon violation of a condition of the custody, the court may enter a judgment of conviction. However, if the person fulfills the conditions of the custody, the court shall dismiss the charges against the person. There may be only one (1) dismissal under this section with respect to a person.”
So what does that mean for you? It means the court has the power to dismiss a possession of marijuana charge if the defendant pleads guilty and complies with all court-ordered conditions for up to a year. Conditional discharges can apply to defendants who have previous convictions and otherwise don’t qualify for a state-run pre-trial diversion program.
However, if a defendant fails to abide by the terms of his or her conditional discharge, the court can enter a judgment of conviction at that time and proceed to sentencing under the criminal sentencing laws.
A knowledgeable attorney like Rebecca Gray will be able to review your case and decide whether pursuing a conditional discharge is the best course of action for you. Call today for a free, no strings attached, consultation. She is available 24/7 to ensure that you get the real representation you deserve.