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Indiana Drug Possession Lawyers
Drug Possession Attorneys Serving Hamilton County and Madison County
If you are facing a drug possession charge in Indiana, you will quickly find out that it is a very serious and potentially life-altering matter. The state has some of the nation’s toughest laws for drug crimes – including possession of illegal substances. Possessing drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, or opiates can cost you a lot of money, your driving privileges, and months or even years of incarceration. If you are arrested on a possession charge, an experienced drug possession lawyer may be able to help you avoid a conviction or get your charge or sentence reduced.
Retaining the help of an Anderson drug defense attorney who is well-versed in the state’s drug laws could mean the difference between time behind bars and freedom. Whether you are being charged with first offense misdemeanor possession or felony drug possession, you should get the help of a knowledgeable legal professional. To schedule a free consultation of your case with an Anderson criminal defense lawyer, contact GDS Law Group today at (765) 313-7092.
Drug Possession in Indiana
Indiana Code § 35-48-4 lays out the penalties for the possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Controlled substances in Indiana are classified into five “schedules.” These classifications depend on the drug’s potential for abuse, and its medical usefulness – or lack thereof. Possessing any of these drugs is a crime, unless you have a prescription for a drug that is available for medical use. Depending on what schedule a drug is listed as, how much you possess, and other factors, penalties for drug possession can range from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Drug schedules in Indiana are as follows:
- Schedule I – These substances have a high possibility for abuse, and no medical uses. Examples include heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, and peyote.
- Schedule II – Substances in this schedule maintain high potentials for abuse, and very restricted medical uses. Examples include methadone, cocaine, Vicodin, Demerol, OxyContin, and Ritalin.
- Schedule III – These drugs have less potential for abuse than those in Schedules I and II, and are currently accepted for medical. Examples include anabolic steroids, testosterone, and drugs with under 90 milligrams of codeine such as Tylenol with codeine.
- Schedule IV – Schedule IV drugs have low potentials for abuse, and maintains accepted medical uses. Examples include Xanax, Darvon, Valium, and Ambien.
- Schedule V – These substances also have low possibilities for abuse, and are frequently (and legally) used for medical reasons. Examples include Lyrica, Lomotil, and cough syrups with less than 200 milligrams of codeine such as Robitussin AC.
Drug Possession Penalties in Indiana
What are the penalties for drug possession convictions in Indiana? Even for drugs that many people think of as “mild,” such as marijuana, consequences can be severe. For drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and other harder controlled substances, penalties are even harsher. When you are accused of drug possession or possession of a syringe or other paraphernalia in Indiana, it’s important to contact an experienced drug possession lawyer as soon as possible.
Here is a short breakdown of the penalties for possessing various types of drugs:
Possession of 30 grams of marijuana or under with no prior drug convictions is considered a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and a maximum fine of $1,000. With a prior drug conviction, marijuana possession is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000. If you have more than 30 grams of marijuana in your possession and have a prior drug conviction on your record, you face a Level 6 felony, which is punishable by up to over two years in prison, and a fine reaching $10,000.
Cocaine, Meth, Heroin & Other Schedule I & II Drugs
If you are caught possessing these illicit drugs, you face at least a Level 6 felony. Depending upon your physical location upon your arrest – such as near a school, park, youth center or family housing complex, and how much of the drugs you possess, you’ll face more serious felonies and harsher penalties.
Schedule III, IV & IV Drugs
Illicitly possessing drugs in these categories can lead to a misdemeanor charge or worse depending upon the circumstances of your case, how much of the substance was in your possession, and more.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and $500 in fines. However, with a prior conviction for possessing drug paraphernalia, it rises to the level of a class A misdemeanor. Possessing a syringe in Indiana for illegal use is a Level 6 felony.
Drug possession laws and penalties are subject to change. For example, there have been bills put forth in the state to reduce penalties for marijuana possession. GDS Law Group can advise you about any changes to possession penalties and work with you to try and resolve your case with the best possible outcome.
Collateral Consequences of a Drug Possession Conviction
Besides possibly paying stiff monetary penalties and spending months or even years incarcerated for your drug possession crime, having a drug-related conviction on your record can follow you for years. Some of the negative collateral consequences you may experience include:
- You might temporarily or permanently lose your driver’s license depending upon the severity of your offense.
- In Indiana, felons who are in prison lose the right to vote. Voting rights are restored upon release from prison.
- If sent to jail for your drug crime, you may lose your current job. Future potential employers may not wish to hire you if you have a drug possession conviction on your record.
- When applying for rental housing, landlords and property owners will usually do a background check. They may not wish to have a felon or other person convicted of a drug crime living on their property, and so deny you rental housing.
- If you ever want to work as a CPA, doctor, teacher, nurse or in another professional position that requires licensing or certification, you may not be eligible.
Indiana’s Conditional Discharge Program for First-Time Marijuana Offenders
If you are a first-time marijuana possession offender, you may be able to get a conditional discharge through the court. What this means is that you will plead guilty to a misdemeanor, but the court will defer judgement on your charge so you can satisfy certain conditions. If you follow the conditions of the court, such as submitting to random drug testing and other requirements a judge puts in place, the charge is dismissed.
How an Anderson Drug Possession Lawyer Can Help
Whatever the severity of drug possession charge you’re facing, the criminal defense attorneys at GDS Law Group can help. We may be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Contact us today at (765) 313-7092 to schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case.