Methamphetamine Possession And Penalties in Des Moines
While opioid deaths are what make the news, methamphetamine offenses appear to be an even more widespread problem in Iowa. Meth arrests are a common drug bust. A Des Moines criminal defense lawyer can help if you're charged. The most common Iowa methamphetamine offenses include possession, distribution, manufacturing, and possession with intent to distribute. Federal agents may bring federal charges. If you're charged with a federal drug crime, you should contact an attorney who practices in federal court (not me).
"Crystal meth" or methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug. Some ADHD patients legally have prescription methamphetamine, but under most circumstances, methamphetamine is an illegal controlled substance. Possession, sale, and manufacture of meth is against the law in Iowa. If you've been charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance, you need an Iowa methamphetamine possession defense attorney.
Your outlook if you're charged with a methamphetamine crime in Iowa isn't great, especially if you did anything with meth anywhere near children or even in a house where children live. Meth possession has really serious consequences and you need a criminal defense attorney ASAP. Narcotics investigations can have life-changing consequences.
If you have a substance abuse problem, seek treatment immediately. Getting clean can be the best thing you'll ever do for yourself and for your loved ones. Drug treatment could save your life. If you're potentially facing criminal charges, contact a narcotics lawyer immediately. Prison time will interfere with your family life and with your ability to get employment that you're likely to find fulfilling and engaging. If you have a substance abuse problem or methamphetamine addiction, drug court may be available for your meth charge in some counties.
Call (515) 200-2787 for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Unlike plant-derived marijuana and cocaine, meth is made in a laboratory. Methamphetamine often appears as a white rock or powder that users smoke, snort, or inject. The name "crystal" meth comes from the drug's rock-like or crystalline appearance. Methamphetamine may also be called "ice," "crank," "speed," "glass," or "white."
Iowa Code Section 124.401(5) is one of Iowa's most commonly enforced drug laws. This section prohibits possession of a controlled substance. This includes things like marijuana possession as well as meth. Simple possession is the least serious drug offense.
Possession, identity of the substance, and knowledge are the elements of a simple possession charge in Iowa. In order to convict, the county attorney must prove all elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecuting attorney can prove the possession element by showing either actual possession or constructive possession.
Your meth possession charge could be anything from a serious misdemeanor through a felony. Any drug offense that is an aggravated misdemeanor or worse carries a possible prison sentence. A defendant could get five or more years in prison for felony possession. Because crystal methamphetamine is so dangerous, possessing methamphetamine is often a more serous charge than possessing marijuana. It's important to take a methamphetamine offense seriously.
Meth labs are dangerous and very illegal. After the federal government imposed restrictions on the sale of ephedrine, a chemical used in both methamphetamine production and in cold medicine, manufacture of methamphetamine moved largely to Mexico.
Conversion labs are one type of illegal meth lab. A conversion lab is where defendants change liquid methamphetamine into crystals of meth.
Drug manufacturing and drug trafficking are often Class C felonies or worse.
If you're charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in Iowa, the prosecutors will be trying to prove that:
- You manufactured something
- that had a detectable amount of meth in it and
- you knew that what you were making had a detectable amount of meth in it.
Methamphetamine distribution and methamphetamine delivery are illegal. Distribution requires transferring meth to another person. The government does not have to prove money was involved.
The maximum penalties can include fifty years of prison when more than five kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers. When more than more than five grams are manufactured or delivered, the maximum penalty is twenty-five years in prison and fines of $5,000 - $100,000.
Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine
Possessing meth with the intent to distribute it is treated the same as actually distributing methamphetamine. The accused could be charged with "possession with intent" if prosecutors believe that they possessed too much for personal use or have sold methamphetamine before.
If you're charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, the prosecutors will be trying to prove that:
- You delivered something or had something and intended to deliver it
- That "something" had a detectable amount of methamphetamine in it
Iowa Meth Crimes Enhanced Penalties
Like all drug crimes, there are some things that can make your methamphetamine charges worse. If any of these things apply to your case, your case is more serious than it otherwise would have been:
- You're charged with possessing a lot of meth. The more methamphetamine you allegedly had, the worse your situation is.
- There was a gun or another "offensive weapon" close by
- What they're alleging you did happened
- In or near a school,
- on a schoolbus, or
- in or near a public park, swimming pool, or rec center
- You allegedly manufactured meth, salts, isomers, or salts of isomers
- when a child (a minor) was physically present
- where a kid lives
- in a building where kids can reasonably be expected to be present
- while in a hotel room
- in a "multiple unit residential building," like an apartment building or a duplex.
- You have prior convictions -- especially prior felonies
- You're currently on probation or parole.
How Can an Iowa Methamphetamine Possession Defense Lawyer Help?
After a drug bust, an Iowa methamphetamine possession defense lawyer can review your drug charges and advise you about a possible drug defense. Your defense attorney can review any search or seizure made during a drug bust for violations of your Fourth Amendment rights.
Deferred Judgment for Possession of Methamphetamine
If the jury convicts you of a methamphetamine possession charge, a deferred judgment might be available to help you keep your record clean.