Defending Charges Of Drug Possession And Distribution
Penalties for drug offenses in the state of Indiana vary greatly based on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. Committing a drug offense near a school, park or housing complex results in more substantial charges. If the crime you’re accused of involves a minor or the use of a gun, the penalties are magnified to the point where prison sentences are counted in decades, not just years. If you are facing drug charges in Indiana, having an experienced attorney on your side is invaluable.
Unless you have an attorney familiar with the tactics employed by prosecution, you could wind up paying considerable fines and giving up your freedom
Categories Of Controlled Substances In Indiana
Indiana law defines a controlled substance as a drug that is likely to be abused. Controlled substances are divided into five categories, referred to as “schedules”:
- Schedule I: Highly addictive drugs or substances that are not used for medical treatment in the U.S. such as heroin, LSD and marijuana.
- Schedule II: Highly addictive drugs or substances that can be used for medical treatment only with severe restrictions such as Vicodin, OxyContin and fentanyl.
- Schedule III: Drugs and substances that are addictive and used in medical treatment, but not as addictive as Schedule I and Schedule II drugs such as Tylenol with codeine, ketamine and testosterone.
- Schedule IV: Drugs and substances used in medical treatment that are potentially less addictive than Schedule III drugs and substances such as Xanax, Valium and Tramadol.
- Schedule V: Drugs and substances used for medical treatment that have a low potential for abuse relative to Schedule IV drugs and substances such as Lyrica, Motofen and Lomotil.
Controlled substances include both pharmaceutical drugs and street drugs.
Possession And Dealing In Controlled Substances
Indiana law defines two forms of possession of a controlled substance; actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession is when you are either physically holding a controlled substance or have it with you (in your pocket for example). Constructive possession is when you have knowledge of and control over drugs that are stored, typically in a home or a car.
When the quantity of drugs is small and there is no intent to distribute, defendants are usually charged with simple possession. Penalties for simple possession are relatively light compared to charges for manufacturing and distributing drugs.
If you are arrested with a large quantity of drugs in your possession, you may get charged with possession with intent to distribute (PWID). No direct evidence of distributing drugs is required for PWID charge. However, there is usually circumstantial evidence in a PWID arrest such as large amounts of cash.
Penalties for PWID vary greatly depending on the quantity and the type of drug. Charges are increased when the defendant has prior convictions, a gun is used or if minors are involved. Sentences range from a short jail term for simple possession to fines up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison for dealing cocaine or narcotics.