With the rise in opioid use, comes a rise in drug-related arrests, as indicated by recent FBI data. Statewide data also shows that over 18,000 drug arrests have been carried out in Indiana throughout 2016. Drug charges often result in extensive prison sentences and hefty fines. That's why it is important that you consult with an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney following an arrest.
Drug arrests continue to rise
According to an article by Forbes, drug arrests have increased roughly six percent between 2015 and 2016. Over 1.5 million arrests have happened nationwide, with a per capita rate of 486.4 per 100,000 citizens.
Further data shows that over 1 million of those arrests involved adults over the age of 18, over 78,000 involved teenagers under the age of 18, and over 12,000 involved children under the age of 15.
Drug charges in Indiana carry heavy consequences
Suspects who are arrested for drug-related offenses in Indiana aren't just subject to statewide penalties, as documented in Title 35, Article 48. Federal drug charges can be more severe, with mandatory minimum sentences of up to 10 years in prison.
While health is an important consideration, many defendants are more concerned about the immediate legal consequences of drug charges. Those who are in possession of illegal drugs don't have to be on the police radar to get arrested. Many drug-related arrests stem from routine traffic stops. In fact, police throughout Indiana are ramping up their efforts to arrest drug suspects through traffic stops, as reported in a recent Fox 59 article. Within a three-day period, police arrested four suspects for drug paraphernalia, three of which were booked into the Johnson County jail.
In other cases, drug arrests result from an investigation and sting operation designed to take down distributors. Fox 59 reports that a recent drug bust happened in Columbus, involving the arrest of seven suspects and the seizure of $24,000 in cash and over a pound of methamphetamine. Additionally, police discovered materials used for the production of methamphetamine. Five of the suspects were arrested for "visiting a common nuisance," which is a Class B misdemeanor according to Indiana code IC 35-45-1-5. The arrests were carried out by a joint effort involving the Columbus Police Department, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police.
Regardless of the circumstances involving a drug arrest, it is important to practice your right to remain silent. Any, and all, questions can be directed to an experienced Indianapolis drug defense attorney, who can help defendants protect their constitutional rights and mitigate the damage of criminal charges for drug offenses.