STATEHOUSE (Jan. 28, 2016) – The Indiana House of Representatives this week passed legislation co-authored by State Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) that would impose more stringent penalties on convicted drug dealers.
House Bill (HB) 1235 would prevent a Level 2 conviction of dealing controlled substances from being suspended by the court. Under this bill, these offenders would be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years for such a conviction. A Level 2 felony for dealing a controlled substance is defined as selling an amount greater than 10 grams or in the range of 5-9 grams when accompanied by an enhancing circumstance.
“The drug problem is multi-faceted and requires several different approaches, including treatment,” Koch said. “But removing from society those who profit from the drug trade is appropriate to ensure the safety and security of our communities.”
The bill would also allow judges to consider additional aggravating circumstances when determining appropriate penalties for a subsequent drug-dealing conviction. If an individual has a prior conviction of selling synthetic drugs, their sentence would be enhanced.
HB 1235 will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
Rep. Koch (R-Bedford) represents all of Brown County, most of Lawrence County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties.