What is the crime for drug possession?

drugs exchanged

What are some drug charges?

There are many states that are changing their laws on marijuana drug charges, and at the same time, there are many states that are cracking down with even tougher laws. In the meantime, the federal government hasn’t eased up on any of U.S. marijuana laws, marijuana criminal charges can damage a person’s criminal record forever. 

In the state of Indiana, illegal drug use is a big problem, just as it is around the country. From heroin to methamphetamine, there is an on-going war on drugs here in the Hoosier State. This has caused the state to establish strong laws on drug charge possession with serious and life damaging consequences such as these: 

Class D Felony: punishment 6 months to 36 months in prison plus a $10,000 fine. 

  • Less than 3 grams Cocaine, Methamphetamine 
  • Less than 3 games within thousand feet of school property with Ecstasy, Heroin, LSD, or other Schedule I Drugs punishment 
  • Over 30 grams marijuana

Class C Felony: punishment 2 years to 8 in prison plus a $10,000 fine.

  • Over 3 grams Cocaine, Methamphetamine

Class B Felony: punishment 6 years to 20 years in prison plus a $10,000 fine.

  • Less than 3 grams Cocaine, Methamphetamine

Class A Felony: punishment 20 years to 50 years in prison plus a $10,000 fine.

  • Over 3 grams Cocaine, Methamphetamine with school zone enhancement 

Class A Misdemeanor: punishment Up to 12 months in county jail with a $5,000 fine.

  • Less than 30 grams Marijuana

Is drug possession a felony or misdemeanor?

It can depend according to Indiana State Code § 35-48-4-7. The definition of controlled substance according to this State Code is a drug, a substance, or the immediate precursor as listed in any of the stated 5 categories or on a one of the scheduled drugs. A person found in the possession of the listed controlled substance and doesn’t have a valid prescription can face a Class A misdemeanor drug charge or a Level 6 felony drug charge.  

Considerations that can raise the level of the drug charge offense include the quantity of the drug, paraphernalia, or any of the precursors of a person in possession, and whether that person possess a firearm; additionally if the drug charge offense is within a thousand feet of a school or park.

The various types of a controlled substance drug charge possession can apply to all possession drug charge offenses in one of these two categories:

  • Simple possession.
  • Possession with intent of distributing.

The amount of the drug and what type of drug are what define these differences. A higher quantity of certain drugs can tip the scale to the higher drug charge possession with intent of distributing. 

How many years can you go to jail for drug possession?

Drug charge offenses in the State of Indiana can vary between a Class B misdemeanor with a penalty maxed at 180 days jail time with a $1,000 fine up  to a Level II felony and a penalty maxed at 30 years in prison with a $10,000 fine.

What drugs are misdemeanors?

In Indiana, you can face a Class A Misdemeanor Drug Charge for dealing, knowing of or intentionally manufacturing, delivering, financing, or possession with intention to any of the same acts in any of the following: 

  • Hash oil
  • Hashish
  • Marijuana
  • Salvia
  • Synthetic cannabinoid

Can misdemeanor drug charges be dropped?

With lawyer representation, having a misdemeanor drug charge dropped is possible in some instances.   There are options for a client not to have their case taken to trial or follow through with the trial with a possible dismissal of the drug charge. With no prior criminal record, a judge may offer a pre-trial diversion or conditional discharge of the drug charge. 

These are two distinct processes with a similar result. With a pre-trial diversion, it  is an agreement between the defendant and the state where prosecution will be withheld after certain requirements are completed. Those certain requirements are typically fees and substance abuse classes. 

A conditional discharge is another type of agreement between the defendant and the court where a guilty plea is entered but judgement is withheld. Again, certain requirements must be met like a probation period and substance abuse classes. 

dog sniffing out drugs

Can marijuana charges be expunged?

In the state of Indiana, to have low level misdemeanor marijuana charges expunged, the defendant must meet the following conditions: 

  • Minimum of 5 years since the conviction. 
  • No recent convictions in those 5 years leading up to expungement petition.
  • All fees, fines, restitutions, and court costs are paid in full.
  • Full payment of all fees, fines, restitution orders, and court costs.

Need help with drug charge bail in Avon and Indianapolis, IN? Call 317-423-9300 today.