The reason drug defense cases are mostly won or lost in the suppression of evidence is that if evidence was seized unlawfully, or the statement implicating the defendant was improperly taken, the State cannot use the evidence.
Defending drug cases is nearly entirely about technical constitutional issues, not about the question of who actually possessed the drugs themselves. Most Indiana state cases fall under possession, cultivation, selling, or manufacturing. In Federal Court, the cases are there because of the use of U.S. mail service, the location the event took place, the amount of the drug, or the fact there was a multiple state conspiracy.
With no prior criminal history, most drug cases in Indiana are suspendable (exceptions include possession of controlled substances with firearms). If your case is filed in a federal court, jail becomes far more likely. But even if your case is in a state court, it does not mean that you can avoid jail time. Sentencing across counties is very uneven. People convicted of misdemeanor cases of marijuana in some county courts can face jail time. In other counties, a first offense cocaine dealing case could result in a suspended sentence.
In either case, the best drug defense is good preparation. If you have been caught with drugs, do not make things easier on the police by confessing. In every case I am familiar with, when the accused starts helping the police under the impression they will “go easy on him”, the result is worse.
You get no credit for helping police. Keep your mouth shut, and ask for a lawyer.
Staying current with the law, and conducting suppression hearings are crucial factors in successfully keeping evidence out of a case.
Just remember: no evidence; no case.
To understand how a drug charge would apply to your situation, call my office or contact me through my Contact Us page to set up a free evaluation of your case.