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Felony Drug Crimes

Although most drug-related offenses are non-violent, the State of Iowa does classify certain crimes involving controlled substances as felonies upon conviction. A felony drug offense is incredibly serious as it carries life-altering penalties much steeper than a misdemeanor. Individuals who are convicted of felony drug crimes often face lengthy prison sentences and expensive out-of-pocket fines. Not only that, many drug crime offenders face additional stigma once they are released and may find difficulty securing employment, housing, etc.

To mitigate or avoid these penalties, it’s highly recommended you retain legal representation as soon as possible like the legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. A skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer can assess the facts of your case and utilize their knowledge, resources, and extensive network to build a formidable defense fit to take on the prosecution. Don’t wait another moment to protect your rights and future. Contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today.

Felony Drug Crimes Lawyers, Des Moines IA | Possession & Drug Distribution

Having an experienced Iowa drug defense lawyer on your side will significantly increase the chances of receiving reduced or dismissed charges. Get started on your defense as soon as possible by hiring the experienced and reputable defense firm McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. With over four decades of combined experience, our lawyers understand what it takes to defend felony-level drug crimes.

Call our office today at (515) 279-9700 or simply submit an online contact form to schedule your first consultation. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in West Des Moines, but we practice throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County, Iowa area including De Soto, West Des Moines, Johnston, Perry, and Altoona.


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Felony Drug Possession in Iowa

In the State of Iowa, possession of any illegal controlled substance is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act. According to the Act, any person who possesses a controlled substance in actual or constructive possession could be subject to prosecution. In most cases, a conviction for possession is charged as a misdemeanor offense, even if it’s the individual’s second conviction. However, there are instances where possession can become a felony.

Individuals charged with a third drug possession offense will face a class D felony. Listed below are the statutory penalties for class D felonies under Iowa law.

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,245

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Felony Possession with Intent to Distribute in Iowa

Regardless of the drug or the amount the individual had on them, possession with intent to distribute is usually a felony offense. The charge range can vary for these crimes from a class B to a class D felony and could potentially carry a prison sentence of up to 25 years. The sentencing for a felony drug trafficking crime will depend on the controlled substance(s) and the volume of that substance(s) the alleged offender had in their control.

The lightest charge a person can face for possession with intent to distribute is a class D felony. The crime is reserved for individuals charged with possession with intent to deliver or delivery of 50kgs or less of marijuana or flunitrazepam. A class D felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,245 fine.

Possession with intent to deliver any of the following is a class C felony under Iowa law.

  • 10 grams or less of PCP
  • Over 50kgs and up to 100kgs of cannabis
  • Any schedule I, II, or II controlled substance other than those specifically discussed
  • 5 grams or less of amphetamine or methamphetamine
  • 100 grams or less of any substance that contains a detectable amount of heroin
  • 10 grams or less of any substance described in this section that contains cocaine
  • 100 grams or less of cocaine or any substance with a detectable amount of cocaine in it
  • 100 grams or less of cocaine or any substance that contains a detectable amount of it
  • 100 grams or less of coca leaves or any substance containing a detectable amount of coca leaves

A class C felony is punishable by:

  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • A fine of ranging between $1,000 to $50,000

Individuals convicted of any of the following delivery offenses will face a class B misdemeanor with a maximum of 25 years in prison and a fine ranging between $50,000 to $100,000.

  • Over 100 kgs and up to 1000 kgs of cannabis
  • More than 5 grams and up to 5 kgs of amphetamine or methamphetamine
  • Over 100 grams and up to 1kg of any substance with a detectable amount of heroin
  • Over 100 grams and up to 500 grams of cocaine or any substance with a detectable amount of cocaine in it
  • Over 100 grams and up to 500 grams of coca leaves or any substance containing a detectable amount of coca leaves
  • Over 10 grams and up to 50 grams of any substance in this section that contains a base of cocaine
  • Over 10 grams and p to 100 grams of PCP
  • Over 100 grams and up to 1kg of any substance with a detectable amount of PCP
  • No more than 10 grams of any substance with a detectable amount of LSD
  • Over 100 grams and up to 500 grams of ecgonine or any substance with a detectable amount of ecgonine in it

The harshest charge a person can face for possession with intent to deliver or delivery is a class B felony with a maximum of 50 years in prison. In addition to the excessive prison sentence, a conviction will also include a fine of up to $1 million. If an individual possesses any of the following with intent to deliver, then they will face a class B felony.

  • Over 100 grams of coca leaves or any substance with a detectable amount of coca leaves in it
  • Over 500 grams of any substance containing a detectable amount of ecgonine
  • Over 100 grams of PCP
  • Over 10 grams of any substance with a detectable amount of LSD
  • Over 5kgs of a substance that contains a detectable amount of amphetamine or methamphetamine
  • Over 1 kg of a substance with a detectable amount of heroin
  • Over 500 grams of any substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine
  • More than 50 grams of any substance containing a cocaine base
  • One kg or more of any mixture containing a detectable amount of PCP
  • Over 1000 kgs of any substance with a detectable amount of cannabis

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Drug Court in Iowa

Unfortunately, the penalties for drug-related crimes in Iowa often carry harsh life-altering penalties even though the majority of offenders are driven to criminal behavior due to addiction. The State recognizes the vicious cycle addiction has and how it can lead to recidivism. In an effort to combat that, certain counties have implemented Specialty Courts that focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment for convicted drug offenders.

Adult drug courts aid non-violent offenders who meet certain criteria outlined by the program. Eligibility for drug court will depend on the crime’s jurisdiction and the individual’s criminal history. What’s great about the program is that any individual who completes all the terms and conditions of Drug Court will have their charges dismissed. In addition, these programs often help drug offenders get back on their feet by providing support for employment, housing, drug treatment, therapy, and a network of alumni who are there to guide offenders struggling with the program’s requirements.


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Additional Resources

Iowa’s Controlled Substances Act – Visit the official website for Iowa’s Drug Laws to learn more about felony drug crimes including possession, possession with intent to deliver, delivery, manufacture, and other related offenses. Access the site to learn the elements, penalties, and possible admissible defenses for these crimes.

Map of Iowa’s Drug Courts – Visit the official website for the Iowa’s Courts to learn more about their Specialty courts including drug court. Access the site to learn if a drug court is available in your area and other types of Specialty courts including OWI Courts, Juvenile Delinquency Courts, Mental Health Courts, Veterans Treatment Courts, and Domestic Violence Court.


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Des Moines Felony Drug Possession Lawyer, IA | Polk County & Dallas County

If you’ve been arrested for a felony drug offense, contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have decades of drug defense experience and have an in-depth understanding of Iowa’s controlled substance laws. They can challenge the prosecution’s argument with a formidable defense designed for your case. To speak to a qualified Des Moines drug defense lawyer, call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

You can reach the office of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. by calling (515) 279-9700 or simply submit an online contact form. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is located in Des Moines, however we accept clients throughout the greater Dallas County and Polk County, Iowa area.


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