All states regulate and control the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for their possession. Iowa considers not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine to be controlled substances, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.
Iowa divides its CDS into five “schedules” based on factors such as their potential for abuse, and whether they are approved for legitimate medical use:
To understand the charges and penalties you might face, look at the charging document in your case (usually called either a complaint or “information”, or, if from a grand jury, an indictment). Identify the name of the drugs specified in the document, consult the schedules explained above, and place them in the proper schedule. Then read below to learn about possible charges and sentences. The statute that explains what drug fits into each schedule is Iowa Code Section 4-124.
This article concerns the unlawful sale of CDS. Separate punishments apply to the possession of CDS, or for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances. For information about the possession for personal use of CDS, see Possession of a Controlled Substance in Iowa.
Iowa divides felonies into four classes: A, B, C and D. Class A felonies are the most serious. Felony drug sale crimes can be of any class. Misdemeanors are divided into three classes: aggravated, serious, or simple. Misdemeanor sales crimes are either aggravated or serious. Misdemeanors are less serious and receive lighter penalties than felonies.
A felony conviction for the sale of CDS is punished with long periods of incarceration and steep financial penalties.
Conspiracy with the intent to deliver or delivery of methamphetamines or amphetamines (or their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers) to a minor is punishable by a period of incarceration of up to 99 years. A defendant who is convicted for a second time under this section is ineligible for parole unless the governor commutes the sentence to a term of years.
Possession with the intent to deliver or delivery of the following is a Class B felony, punishable by a period of incarceration of up to 50 years and a fine of up to $1 million:
Possession with the intent to deliver or delivery of the following is a Class B felony, punishable by a period of incarceration of up to 25 years and a fine of $50,000 to $100,000:
Possession with the intent to deliver or delivery of the following is a Class C felony, punishable by a period of incarceration up to ten years and a fine of $1,000 to $50,000:
Possession with the intent to deliver or delivery of 50 kgs or less of marijuana or flunitrazepam is a Class D felony, punishable by a period of incarceration of up to five years and a fine of $750 to $7,500.
(Iowa Code Sections 124.401, 902.1, and 902.9.)
Possession with the delivery of, or intent to deliver, a Schedule IV or V CDS is an aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by a period of incarceration of up to two years, a fine of $625 to $6,250, or both.
(Iowa Code Sections 124.401 and 903.1.)
Possession with the intent to deliver or the delivery of ephedrine (including salts, isomers, or salts of isomers), when the defendant knew or should have known the substance was intended to make a CDS, is a serious misdemeanor. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by a period of incarceration of up 30 days, a fine of $315 to $1,875, or both.
(Iowa Code Sections 124.401 and 903.1.)
If a defendant possesses or controls a firearm during the commission of the underlying offense, the underlying sentence will be doubled and cannot be deferred or suspended.
(Iowa Code Sections 124.401.)
If a defendant commits two or more CDS sales offenses at approximately the same time or in the same location, so that the sales appear to be part of a common plan, scheme, or conspiracy, the quantity of the substances involved in the offenses may be combined for the purpose of charging the defendant.
(Iowa Code Section 124.401(2).)
Defendants who have been convicted of a Class C or D felony, and who have two prior felony convictions from Iowa, another state, or from federal court, will be sentenced as an habitual offender. An habitual offender is not eligible for parole until at least three years of the imposed sentence has been served.
(Iowa Code Section 902.8.)
A defendant who is convicted of the delivery or attempted delivery of methamphetamine or amphetamine to a minor is not eligible for parole until at least ten years of the imposed sentence has been served.
(Iowa Code 902.8A.)
If you have been charged with intent to deliver or the delivery of CDS, you face extended periods of incarceration, steep financial penalties, or both. To make sure you understand the charges that have been filed against you, your options, and the possible outcomes of your case, you should seek advice from an attorney who is experienced in CDS defense.