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Drug-related crimes are serious offenses. While there may be a push in other states to legalize certain substances or reduce the amount of jail time for certain offenses, that isn’t the case in Indiana. All drug-related crimes are viewed as serious offenses that carry the very real threat of serious consequences for a conviction. Many people don’t realize how serious those consequences can be until it is too late.

If you have been charged with a drug-related offense, the time to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer is now. Don’t wait because you think the charges aren’t going to be “that serious.” You need the help of The Criminal Defense Team immediately. We can build a strategic defense strategy from day one while protecting your legal rights. You deserve quality legal representation, and our Board Certified* defense attorneys are ready to help. Contact us today by calling (317) 687-8326 and let’s talk about your case.

Types of Drug-Related Crimes

Indiana law covers a wide variety of drug-related crimes. From possession to manufacturing to drug dealing, the law delves into all aspects of the drug trade and drug usage. Drug-related offenses are taken quite seriously in Indiana and can carry serious criminal penalties. In addition to criminal consequences, a conviction can also result in serious repercussions for an individual’s career, future job prospects, and even their housing situation and personal relationships. Some of the most common drug-related crimes include:

Drug Possession

Drug possession sounds like it is one simple type of criminal charge. It isn’t. There are several different distinctions that Indiana law makes when it comes to the possession of illegal drugs. Those unique distinctions make a significant difference in the penalty phase of a court proceeding if an individual is convicted of a possession crime.

Drug possession is technically 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, or even hidden in a shoe. In some cases, a person can be charged with possession if they were witnessed throwing the substance out a window or on the ground so as to make it seem 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. Typically, the higher the schedule and the greater the quantity of the drug, the more serious the charge. A possession charge can be a Class A misdemeanor for possession of a Schedule V controlled substance, all the way up to a Level 3 felony for possessing a large amount of cocaine, narcotics, or methamphetamine.

Dealing Drugs

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.

As with other drug offenses, there is a wide range of drug dealing offenses that an individual could be charged with depending on the type and amount of substance found in the individual’s possession. Those dealing in drugs that are classified as Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance may find themselves facing anywhere from a Level 5 to a Level 2 felony charge. Dealing in a Schedule IV substance can result in a Level 6 to a Level 3 felony, depending on the circumstances. Those that deal in Schedule V substances may find themselves facing a Class A misdemeanor all the way up to a Level 4 felony.

Drug Manufacturing

Television and movies have glamorized underground drug manufacturing rings. There is nothing glamorous about being charged with a manufacturing crime. The manufacturing of controlled substances is a profoundly 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 widely available and can be easier to come by than the 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.

Marijuana Charges

The legalization of marijuana continues sweeping through states, but that is not the case in Indiana. Despite it being easier and easier to come by, marijuana is still considered an illegal drug in the state, and being caught in possession of it can still net an individual some serious consequences. Indiana has several laws the address marijuana, from dealing in marijuanadealing in smokable hemp, and possession of marijuana. Charges can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a Level 5 felony. Being caught with marijuana is not a harmless offense. It can cause major legal repercussions and needs to be taken just as seriously as other drug-related offenses.

How Indiana Classifies Drugs and Controlled Substances

The state of Indiana classifies drugs into five different and separate “schedules.” Drugs are placed into a designated schedule based on their potential for abuse and if they are 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 as follows:

Schedule I– Drugs with a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use or value. Opiates and opiate derivatives.

  • Fentanyl
  • Hydroxypethidine
  • Normethadone
  • Codeine-N-Oxide
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Peyote
  • Morphine methylbromide

Schedule II– Drugs with a high potential for abuse and some accepted medical applications, which can result in dependency if abused.

  • Raw opium
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Cocaine
  • Methadone
  • Amphetamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Pentobarbital

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.

  • Anabolic steroid
  • LSD
  • Dronabinol
  • Lysergic acid amide
  • Chlorhexadol
  • Benzphetamine
  • Zolazepam

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.

  • Barbital
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Fenfluramine
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Loprazolam
  • Methohexital
  • Zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Tramadol

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.

  • Brivaracetam
  • Epidiolex
  • Medications with less than 200 milligrams of codeine
  • Medications with less than 100 milligrams of dihydrocodeine
  • Medications with less than 100 milligrams of opium

Penalties for Drug-Related Crimes

Many people operate under the assumption that drug-related crimes aren’t as serious as other types of crime. That is categorically false. Drug-related crimes are taken extremely seriously in Indiana. Even being found in possession of a small amount of a controlled substance could result in significant penalties. Marijuana is often seen as a “harmless” indulgence because so many other states have voted to legalize the drug. That isn’t the case in Indiana, and being caught possessing or distributing marijuana can still result in stiff consequences. A drug conviction can mean jail time, probation, fines, and even prison time for more serious offenses.

Class B Misdemeanor

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000

Class A Misdemeanor

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Fines up to $5,000

Level 6 Felony

  • 6 months to 2 ½ years in prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Level 5 Felony 

  • 1 to 6 years in prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Level 4 Felony 

  • 2 to 12 years in prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Level 3 Felony 

  • 3 to 16 years in prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Level 2 Felony

  • 10 to 30 years in prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Level 1 Felony

  • 20 to 40 years in prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

Call (317) 687-8326 Now to Talk to an Experienced Drug-Related Crimes Attorney

There is a reason why we are known as The Criminal Defense Team. It’s because we strive to provide unparalleled service and dedication to our clients. We believe that it is in your best interest to take immediate and decisive action to protect your rights and work to build a solid defense strategy to suit your unique situation. That’s what we do because that’s what you deserve.

If you have been charged with any type of drug-related crime, don’t wait. Talk to an experienced attorney with The Criminal Defense Team for help. We focus on clients in the Hamilton County, Marion County, Johnson County, Hancock County, Shelby County, Boone County, and Hendricks County regions, as well as other counties throughout the state of Indiana. When you need immediate representation, we can help. Call us today at (317) 687-8326.

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More than 15,000 lawyers practice in Indiana, but only 6 can claim the title of Board Certified* Criminal Law Specialist. Amazingly, 5 of those 6 certified specialists work closely together in the same law firm…our firm. Our team has been assembled by design, not happenstance.

Board Certification is an elite title reserved for those lawyers who have expertise and dedication in one area of law as well as extensive trial experience. We are proud of that title and what it represents. Our Board Certified* lawyers fight for our clients and work with all of our lawyers every day to help obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.

You wouldn’t want a general practice doctor who is not board certified to handle your heart condition, why would you want a general practice law firm with no Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialists to handle your criminal case?

*Andrew Baldwin, Mark Kamish, Kathie Perry, Maxwell Wiley, and Carrie Miles are certified Criminal Trial Specialists by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), a nonprofit organization that certifies attorneys of various legal focuses. To earn an NTBA certification, an attorney must demonstrably show the highest levels of trial experience, competence and integrity.

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