An Iowa man has been sentenced to up to five years and two days after pleading guilty to methamphetamine possession. The charge arose out of a traffic stop in October.
The 54-year-old defendant, who is a resident of Garner, pleaded guilty to reduced charges of third-offense felony possession of methamphetamine and first-offense misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of third-offense marijuana possession and driving while barred.
A Hancock County judge sentenced the defendant to a prison term not exceeding five years and two days and a fine of $2,250. In addition, the defendant must serve at least three years of a 15-year prison term handed down in Cerro Gordo County. The sentence stems from a guilty plea of third-offense methamphetamine possession in 2015.
As this story demonstrates, drug charges often carry serious consequences in Iowa. Individuals convicted of drug possession, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking and other drug offenses are typically sentenced to significant prison or jail terms and heavy fines. However, a criminal defense attorney could use a number of defense strategies in an attempt to get drug charges reduced or dismissed. For example, legal counsel may discover evidence that casts doubt on the prosecution's case, which could lead to the case being dismissed. In other circumstances, an attorney may recommend negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors. A plea deal involves reducing or eliminating certain charges in exchange for the defendant's guilty plea. This may allow a defendant to serve a reduced sentence or to avoid incarceration completely.
Source: Globe Gazette, "Garner man sentenced to prison for meth charge", Ashley Stewart, Dec. 28, 2017