Although other states have chosen to legalize certain substances or reduce the penalties for certain offenses, in Indiana, drug-related crimes remain serious offenses. In Indiana, drug-related crimes and charges continue to be viewed as serious offenses with serious penalties.
If you or a family member have been charged with a drug-related offense, the sooner you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer the better. It is a mistake to wait because you think the charges are not ‘that serious.’
Types of Drug-Related Crimes
From possession and manufacturing to drug dealing, Indiana law encompasses a variety of drug-related crimes. Indiana law covers all aspects of illegal drugs, including marijuana. From the sale and transportation of drugs to possession for personal use, drug-related offenses are taken quite seriously in Indiana and can carry serious criminal penalties.
Drug possession is considered the act of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Possessing an item means that you have it on you physically. This could be in a pocket, purse, backpack, or even hidden in a sock. In fact, in some cases, a person can be charged with possession if they were seen throwing the substance out a window or on the ground so as to make it appear like it wasn’t in their possession.
Possession charges can carry a significant range of penalties depending on the type and amount of drug found in an individual’s possession. Commonly, the higher the schedule the drug is classified and the greater the quantity of the drug, the more serious the charge.
An individual charged with dealing drugs or controlled substances will face much more severe penalties than someone who is charged with mere possession. Dealing in drugs is defined as anyone that knowingly manufactures or finances the manufacture of drugs as well as anyone that knowingly delivers or finances the delivery of drugs.
The manufacturing of controlled substances is a serious crime in the state of Indiana. One of the most common manufacturing crimes is the manufacturing of methamphetamine. While there are charges dealing with other types of drug manufacturing, the ingredients used to make methamphetamine are readily available and can be easier to obtain than ingredients for other types of drugs.
Manufacturing methamphetamine is defined as any person who knowingly manufactures or finances the manufacture of methamphetamine. This can be anywhere from a Level 4 felony offense, all the way up to a Level 2 felony offense depending on the quantity of the drug or if the manufacturing process results in the serious bodily injury or death of another person.
Although the legalization of marijuana is increasingly common in other states, this is not the case in Indiana. Marijuana is still considered an illegal drug in Indiana and being caught in possession of it can still carry with it serious penalties. Indiana has several laws that address marijuana, from dealing in marijuana, and possession of marijuana. Charges can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a Level 5 felony. Contrary to popular belief, being caught with marijuana is not a harmless offense which carries no penalty.
How Indiana Classifies Drugs and Controlled Substances
The state of Indiana classifies drugs into five different “schedules.” Drugs are placed into a designated schedule based on the potential for abuse and whether a drug is approved for any form of legitimate medical use. While Indiana places the drugs themselves into schedules, they also categorize the components used to manufacture those drugs into schedules as well. The penalties assigned for certain drug-related crimes can depend on what schedule the drug is and the amount of the drug found in an individual’s possession. Indiana’s drug classification system is:
Schedule I– Drugs with a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use or value. Opiates and opiate derivatives.
Schedule II– Drugs with a high potential for abuse and some accepted medical applications, which can result in dependency if abused.
Schedule III– Drugs that have a potential for abuse that is less than a Schedule I or II substance and have some medical use with limited physical dependence but high psychological dependence.
Schedule IV– Drugs with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III substances and have an acceptable medical use that can lead to limited dependence.
Schedule V– Drugs that have the lowest potential for abuse and have an accepted medical use. This may include certain medications that contain a very small amount of narcotics.
Penalties for Drug-Related Crimes
Many individuals assume that drug-related crimes aren’t as serious as other types of crimes. That is NOT TRUE. Drug-related crimes are taken very seriously in Indiana. Even being found in possession of a small amount of a controlled substance can result in significant penalties. A drug conviction can mean jail time, probation, fines, and even prison time for more serious offenses.
Class B Misdemeanor
Class A Misdemeanor
Level 6 Felony
Level 5 Felony
Level 4 Felony
Level 3 Felony
Level 2 Felony
Level 1 Felony
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