It is bad enough to face the prospect of the jail time, fines and other penalties associated with drug charges. Unfortunately, there are certain factors that, if proven by the prosecutor, can make these penalties much more severe upon conviction.
Quantity of drugs allegedly in your possession
The quantity of drugs allegedly in your possession matters, because the Iowa legislature has established a variety of crimes whose severity depends upon the quantity and type of drug that the defendant has. The more you allegedly have in your possession at the time of the arrest, the higher the penalties upon conviction.
For example, someone who has 100 grams or less of cocaine faces the prospects of a class C felony conviction, the least severe type of felony. On the other hand, possession of more than 100 grams increases the offense to a class B felony, which increases both the fine and the jail time upon conviction.
Possession or use of a firearm
Iowa law contains a provision that can double your sentence if you are in control of a firearm while engaged in a drug crime. In addition to doubling your sentence, firearm possession also prevents the court from deferring or suspending part of your sentence.
This can occur if you have a firearm on your person at the time of the alleged commission of the crime, even if you never pull it out, brandish it or fire it.
It’s impossible to know beforehand exactly how a criminal trial is going to go. But by knowing the factors that prosecutors may try to prove in order to convict for certain crimes, you can have a general idea of what to expect, so that you can prepare your defense accordingly.