Entrapment Defense Reduces Class A Felony Dealing Cocaine Conviction
The Indiana Court of Appeals reduced a man’s Class A felony dealing cocaine conviction to a Class B felony, finding that he was within 1000 feet of a public park at the request of a confidential informant. Dealing cocaine is a Class B felony and carries a penalty of 6 to 20 years. However, if the dealing took place within 1000 feet of a school or public park, the offense is a Class A felony and carries a penalty of 20 to 50 years. Indiana law provides an entrapment defense if the defendant was within 1000 feet of a public park at the request or suggestion of a law enforcement officer.
In this case, a confidential informant called the defendant and asked him to come to the informant’s apartment to sell crack cocaine. The apartment was across the street from a public park. After the defendant delivered the cocaine, police pulled him over and arrested him for dealing cocaine within 1000 feet of a public park, a Class A felony. At trial, the defendant presented evidence that police had instructed the confidential informant to set up the drug buy at his apartment. However, the jury rejected his entrapment claim and convicted him of the Class A felony charge.
The defendant appealed his conviction arguing that his entrapment defense was not refuted by any State’s evidence at trial. The State argued that the defendant knew where the apartment was located and could have suggested an alternate place for the drug deal. The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the defendant, finding there was no evidence presented at trial to contradict the fact that the location of the controlled buy was made at the direction of police. Thus, the Class A felony conviction was reduced to a Class B felony.
Indiana Entrapment Defense to Controlled Buy of Cocaine
Many dealing cocaine arrests take place after a controlled buy. When police set up a drug deal within 1000 feet of a public park or school, a defendant can be charged with a Class A felony. However, aggressive legal action could reduce the offense by introducing evidence of entrapment. A successful entrapment defense can reduce the penalty range from a minimum of 20 years to as little as 6 years. If you are charged with dealing cocaine, it is important to contact an experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend your rights. If police set you up with a confidential informant, experienced representation could make a big difference in your case.
Indiana 2014 New Crime Bill Preserves Entrapment Defense for Dealing Cocaine
Effective July 1, 2014, Indiana’s new crime bill includes enhanced penalties for drug offenses that take place within 500 feet of school property or a public park. The enhancement also requires the drug offense to take place at a time when a person under age 18 would reasonably be expected to be present. With respect to dealing cocaine charges after July 1, 2014, the school or public park enhancement can elevate an offense to a Level 4 felony, Level 3 felony, or Level 2 felony depending on the quantity of cocaine that is allegedly possessed or sold. The new law provides that the defense of entrapment applies if the defendant was within 500 feet of a school or public park at the request or direction of police or a confidential informant.
Indiana Defense Attorneys for Enhanced Cocaine Dealing Charges
If you have been arrested for dealing cocaine near a school or public park and were set up by police or a confidential informant, you may have an entrapment defense. Gibson Law Office criminal defense attorneys have significant experience defending dealing cocaine charges, including at jury trial. If you have been arrested for an enhanced controlled substance offense, call us today at 855-9-GIBSON for a free consultation. In our meeting, we will discuss how to best defend your case.