Berry Law has been protecting the rights of people accused of crimes since 1965. With over a century of combined legal expertise, our tenacious criminal defense attorneys have earned a global reputation for their deliberate defense representation.
We have helped people facing misdemeanor and felony drug accusations in Council Bluffs and throughout Iowa and Nebraska. Our firm’s specialized drug crime attorneys can offer you a strong defense against your drug allegations and prepare you for court appearances.
When it comes to drug cases, the government has a wealth of resources at its disposal. Our firm can assist you if you are facing state or federal drug accusations. Call a Council Bluffs drug crime attorney today to begin constructing your defense.
What Is Considered a Drug Crime?
Our attorneys have vigorously and successfully defended clients facing charges involving a wide range of prohibited substances such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and more. We provide legal help for charges such as:
- Possession: Knowingly possessing illegal narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. According to the Bureau of Justice, drug possession accounts for more than 80% of all drug-related arrests in the United States.
- Trafficking: The illicit sale, transportation, or importation of illegal controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, or other illegal drugs.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturing activities can include combining chemicals in preparation for the production of LSD, “cooking” or making methamphetamine, and growing marijuana plants.
While some states are lowering regulations on recreational and medicinal marijuana use, Iowa has not. Marijuana possession is illegal under state law. While initially classified as a misdemeanor offense, large amounts of marijuana can lead law enforcement to an inference that you’re distributing or trafficking the substance. This can result in multiple additional felony offenses including Possession with Intent to Distribute, Tax Stamp Violation, and other drug crimes.
Iowa Punishment for Drug Crimes in 2022
As you now know, there are various forms of drug offenses. Although the penalties for possessing a controlled substance are harsh, they are exponentially more severe when they incorporate manufacturing or distributing the substance.
According to Iowa Code § 124.401(5):
- A first offense conviction for possession of any restricted substance (excluding marijuana) is a serious misdemeanor punishable by 6 months to one year in jail, a fine, or both.
- A second offense is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.
- A third offense is classified as a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine, or both
The fine amounts for each offense vary, but an experienced drug crime lawyer in Council Bluffs, IA, can fight to help you avoid harsh penalties before you are even criminally charged. If you are aware that you are being investigated, find a drug crime lawyer as soon as possible.
The Impact of Being Charged With a Drug Crime
Drug convictions not only have serious consequences, such as jail or prison time, but they also have an impact on your current and future personal goals, professional goals, education benefits, ability to possess firearms, and more. Choosing a qualified defense attorney who can seek to reduce or clear your charge will prevent you from the following consequences:
A conviction for possession of a controlled substance is grounds for automatic termination in many workplaces. Furthermore, if you have a conviction on your record, it may be difficult to get new employment.
There are numerous institutions of higher learning that will accept students with a criminal past. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a guarantee. Most universities have a code of conduct, and a conviction for a drug offense may result in suspension or expulsion. If you are not yet enrolled in school, your application may be denied outright because of a drug crime conviction.
Denial of Federal Benefits
Many people take federal benefits, such as student loans, for granted. Unfortunately, some drug crimes can impact your eligibility for those federal benefits, including student loans. You may be prohibited temporarily or permanently from using those valuable resources based on some drug crime convictions.
A conviction for a felony drug offense can lead to a loss of housing prospects. Prospective landlords have the right to do a criminal background check on potential renters, and they have the discretion to refuse to rent to anyone with a felony conviction on their record.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
Successful Defense Strategies Against Drug Possession Charges
Drug crimes carry harsh penalties, but only if you are convicted. In drug possession situations, there are several legal defenses that can lead to a jury verdict in your favor. Among the most prevalent defenses are:
- Possession without knowledge: To be convicted, you must knowingly be in possession of a controlled substance. For example, you have not committed a crime if you didn’t know that the bag you are carrying contains a controlled substance or narcotic.
- Valid prescription: Prescription medications are a prohibited substance, and illegal possession can result in serious legal penalties. However, you may have a valid defense if you possess a prescription medicine that was prescribed by your doctor.
- Violations of constitutional rights: You may have a solid defense in your case if the evidence gathered against you was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. If enough evidence is removed against you, your attorney may be able to suppress key evidence and get the entire case dropped or thrown out.
There are numerous defense tactics to consider when you’re facing a drug charge. It’s critical to choose a drug crime attorney in Council Bluffs, IA, who has the knowledge and experience necessary to make those considerations and successfully defend you.
Fight Iowa Drug Possession Charges
Berry Law has a long history of battling for others in and out of the courtroom. We can provide diligent and powerful legal assistance if you’re charged with possession, trafficking, conspiracy, or any other drug felony. Contact our office now to schedule a private appointment with one of our knowledgeable Council Bluffs drug crime lawyers.