Types and Classifications of Drug Charges in Indiana

In Indiana, drug possession ranges from Class B Misdemeanors to Level Two Felonies. Felonies in Indiana range from level 6 (least severe) to level 1 (most severe). The consequences of such crimes can be quite harsh and might include:

  • Stricter sentencing for multiple offenses
  • Restrictions on Second Amendment rights
  • Inability to receive student loan funding
  • Loss of status and social stigma; and
  • Inability to maintain or find suitable employment

One of the most common offenses in Indiana is the possession of marijuana. A first-time offender with less than thirty grams of marijuana in their possession may only be charged with a misdemeanor. However, possession of more than thirty grams raises the severity to a felony, with sentencing guidelines of six months to two and a half years. 

Severity by Class of Drug

The severity of the crime of possession increases as the class of drug and amounts possessed changes. Additionally, the amount of the drug required to create higher-level felonies decreases. For example, while one may possess more than thirty grams of marijuana and only be charged with a level six felony, the possession of ten grams or more of cocaine is a level four felony. The same is true of methamphetamine. 

Possession vs. Intent to Distribute

The severity of the charge becomes even greater if dealing in level I, II, or III controlled substances is found. Where a person manufactures, finances, manufactures, delivers, finances delivery, or possesses with the intent to do any of the earlier mentioned, the person may automatically be charged with a level six felony. Additionally, the felony level for intent to deliver or manufacture quickly increases with the amount possessed. If a person possesses at least twenty-eight grams with intent to deliver or manufacture, they are likely to be charged with a level 2 felony which carries a sentence of ten to thirty years in prison. 

Possession of Paraphernalia

Penalties for first-time possession of paraphernalia are less severe, though not without consequence. The possession of drug paraphernalia will likely cause a person to be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. Conversely, if one has previously been charged with making, possessing, or dealing in paraphernalia, the charge may be upgraded to a Class A Misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $5,000.00. Paraphernalia is also loosely defined by the Indiana Code. 

Paraphernalia includes any “instrument, a device, or another object” that a person intends to use for: 

  • Introducing into the person’s body a controlled substance
  • Testing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of a controlled substance; or
  • Enhancing the effect of a controlled substance

Contact an Indiana Drug Crime Defense Lawyer Today

At Arshad, Pangere & Warring, LLP, we have many combined years of experience dealing with drug charges in Indiana. Our highly skilled team of attorneys can assist you with any class of felony or misdemeanor drug charge. When facing issues that can upend your life and stick with you forever, you want a competent and aggressive law firm on your side. Contact us today with any questions or for a case evaluation. We stand ready to help you with any Indiana drug charge issues.

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