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Indianapolis Drug Possession Defense Lawyer

Get Experienced Criminal Defense Counsel On Your Side

Drug possession charges often lead to very stiff penalties that most often include a jail or prison sentence and hefty fines. Drug charges are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If you are facing a drug possession charge, choosing the right lawyer may positively impact the outcome of your case. The lawyer you choose should have knowledge and experience dealing with drug possession charges and presenting the best defense possible in these types of cases.

Hayes Law Office is dedicated to helping you avoid serious criminal penalties. The experienced drug crime defense lawyer at the criminal defense law firm understands that many people who are charged with drug possession are battling substance abuse issues, which is why a strong lawyer can also help you get the treatment and counseling necessary to overcome your drug addiction. Indianapolis criminal defense attorney Philip Hayes is skilled at analyzing every fact and detail in preparing and presenting a commanding defense in the courtroom.

If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession in Indianapolis, contact Hayes Law Office today at 317-982-6122 for a free consultation.

What Are Indiana’s Drug Possession Laws?

Under Indiana Law (§ 35-48-4-7), possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription can result in a charge of a Class A misdemeanor or a Level 6 felony. Both illegal drugs and controlled substances are classified according to schedules. Schedule I narcotics are the most addictive with no accepted medical value, while Schedule V substances are not addictive and used in the medical field.

The following are examples of Schedules I-V:

  • Schedule I: Heroin, marijuana, ecstasy
  • Schedule II: Cocaine, Adderall, methadone
  • Schedule III: Anabolic steroids, ketamine
  • Schedule IV: Xanax, Valium, Tramadol
  • Schedule V: Lyrica, Lomotil

What Are The Criminal Penalties For Drug Possession?

The potential penalties for possession of a small of a certain controlled substance are either a Class A misdemeanor or a Level 6 felony. For example, a methamphetamine possession charge involving less than five grams of the drug is generally treated as a Level 6 felony, which carries a fine up to $10,000 with a prison sentence of up to two-and-a-half years. Additionally, if an enhancing circumstance applies, which might include possession on school property or having a prior conviction, one may be convicted of a more serious felony offense.

Indiana Marijuana Possession Laws

Although marijuana has been recently legalized for recreational use in surrounding states like Michigan and Illinois, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance. Also, in Indiana, driving under the influence of marijuana is under the same rules and laws as of DUI or drunk driving. In Indiana, “(a) A person who: (1) knowingly or intentionally possesses (pure or adulterated) marijuana… [commits] a Class B misdemeanor…” Ind. Code § 35-48-4-11 (2023). However, if a person has a prior drug offense, the Class B misdemeanor is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor. If a person has a prior drug conviction or “possesses at least 30 grams of marijuana,” the class B misdemeanor becomes a Level 6 Felony. Ind. Code § 35-48-4-11 (2018).

The marijuana criminal statute regarding marijuana is broad and includes related substances such as hashish, hash oil and salvia. Notably, the Indiana criminal code involves many articles, titles and chapters. Reading a subsection of the statute may not provide the full picture of the potential issues that can arise in a criminal case, nor the potential collateral consequences that may arise as a result of a charge or conviction for any level of drug possession offence.

An experienced lawyer knows how to analyze the details over and above the references you may find on the internet related to the language of a statute. The statutes may or may not include information related to presenting a defense to drug possession charges. While a criminal defense attorney will read the plain language of a statute with a keen eye to determine the constitutionality of how allegations of unlawful behavior apply under the language of the law — drug crime charges often have a vast array of additional circumstances that may be relevant to your defense. It is critical to speak with a lawyer with the courtroom experience to protect your rights.

The following are the potential penalties for marijuana possession in Indiana:

  • Possession of any amount if the defendant has no prior possession of marijuana convictions. Any violation is considered a class A misdemeanor, can lead up to six months (180 days) in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 or more.
  • Possession of fewer than 30 grams, if the defendant has no prior possession of marijuana convictions. Any violation is considered a level 5-6 felony, can lead up to six months to one and a half years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 or more.
  • If you or a loved one has possession of more than 30 grams with a past possession of marijuana convictions, any violation will result in a level 5-6 level felony. This could possibly result in one to six years in prison and a penalty adding up to $10,000 or more.
  • Caught selling to a minor. With or without a prior or past possession of marijuana convictions, this will be valued as a level 5 felony, you will be facing one to six years in prison, and/or a penalty adding up to $10,000 or more.

Furthermore, several states throughout the country allow medical marijuana without facing any charges for possession of marijuana. Medical marijuana is not legal in Indiana as of the year 2023. All possession of marijuana in Indiana is considered criminalized, including possession, manufacture, sales and use of any kind. There are talks that marijuana will soon be legalized in the state of Indiana in the next coming years.

Contact An Experienced Drug Possession Defense Lawyer In Indianapolis

If you or a loved one has been charged for any level of possession of drugs in Indiana, call Hayes Law Office today at 317-982-6122 to learn how drug crime defense attorney Philip Hayes can help you.