Circumstances dictate specific drug crime sentencing in Iowa. With methamphetamine production so pervasive in the state, law enforcement and legislators chose to establish harsher penalties for those who expose minors to it. Likely, the hazards associated with producing meth and potential psychological harm to the child motivate decisions to punish the convicted more harshly.
Iowa statutes and minors in proximity to meth production
Anyone 18 years of age or older choosing to manufacture methamphetamine faces serious felony charges. If the police perform a raid and discover a minor at the production site, the accused would face charges in violation of 124.401C of the Iowa criminal code – “manufacturing methamphetamine in presence of minors.”
The statute casts a proverbial broad net regarding what constitutes manufacturing. The law extends to salts and isomers as well. If a legal raid uncovers meth and a minor, the person charged under the statute could face an additional five years in prison.
Facing legal consequences for meth production near minors
As with all drug crimes, the defendant has a constitutional right to a defense. The person is also innocent until proven guilty. Iowa prosecutors and courts may not go outside the statute or violate its language. For example, the law states a person cannot face charges under this section if already sentenced or convicted of child endangerment “under the same facts.” Of course, prosecutors must prove a child was present per the definition of “presence” under the statute.
Defendants may bring up any violations of their rights during a defense. Illegal searches and seizures might lead to evidence being thrown out.
Persons convicted under the statute could face up to five additional years. So, even if convicted, it might be possible to argue for more lenient sentencing.