Common Questions about Indiana Drug Laws
When it comes to understanding Indiana drug laws, many Hoosiers find themselves lost in the minutia of the legal language and nuance contained in Indiana Code 35-48. However, understanding the drug laws and how they may apply to a specific situation is key to protecting one’s rights and freedoms. Therefore, this article will answer a handful of the most common questions that clients ask our Indianapolis attorneys regarding Indiana drug laws.
If you’re currently being investigated for a drug-related offense in Indiana, or have already been charged, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Indiana as soon as possible. If you’d like to speak with one today, feel free to call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Our team is staffed by former deputy prosecutors who know both sides of the criminal justice system. Our firm understands the local courts here in Indianapolis, as well as courts across the state of Indiana. Furthermore, we have the resources required to thoroughly investigate your case and see your case through to the best possible outcome.
What are Controlled Substances in Indiana?
Indiana Code 35-48-1-17.4 states that a controlled substances in Indiana are any drug, substance, or immediate precursor in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V. However, the law does clearly state that this phrase does not apply to low-THC hemp extract (which most people would refer to as CBD products).
According to the Indiana drug laws in Indiana Code 35-48-2, which outlines the classification of controlled substances in Indiana, some of the most commonly known drugs classified as Schedule I drugs include LSD, mescaline, MDMA (or molly), ecstasy, psilocybin (or magic mushrooms), GHB, heroin, and marijuana. Some of the most common schedule II drugs include opiates like morphine, opium, fentanyl, OxyContin, Percocet, and codeine. Schedule II drugs also include common amphetamine and stimulant drugs like Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse and Ritalin.
In Indiana, some of the most well-known schedule III controlled substances include drugs like Suboxone, Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, and a variety of anabolic steroids; while some of the most common schedule IV controlled substances are depressants and tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepines like Xanax and Klonapin, as well as mild stimulants like Modafinil (brand name Provigil) and Phentermine.
Finally, the most recognizable drug classified as a Schedule V controlled substance under Indiana drug laws is Lyrica. However, Indiana Code 35-48-2-12 does state that a variety of drugs that contain low-levels of some narcotic drugs are considered Schedule V as well. For example, a pill containing 1mg of codeine and 1000mg of acetaminophen would be considered a Schedule V drug in Indiana.
What Do Indiana Drug Laws Say about Possession of Controlled Substances?
The laws on the possession of controlled substances in Indiana are contained in Indiana Code 35-48-4-7, which states that a person who possesses a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV, without a valid prescription can be charged with Class A misdemeanor. However, this law does not apply to marijuana, hashish or salvia. Furthermore, there are separate, more serious offenses for controlled substances like cocaine, methamphetamine, and substances considered to be narcotics.
Enhancing Circumstances in Indiana
It’s important to note that almost all Indiana drug laws related to possession, dealing or manufacturing all contain something called enhancing circumstances in Indiana. These are certain additional circumstances surrounding a criminal offense that can elevate one’s charge. For example, if a Hoosier is caught having possession of a bottle of codeine, without a valid prescription, they would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. However, if they were caught with those pills while ALSO in possession of a firearm, they can be charged with a Level 6 felony in Indiana.
What Drugs are Considered to be Narcotic in Indiana?
Indiana Code 35-48-1-20 defines narcotic drugs as “opium, opiates, derivatives of opium and opiates, including their isomers, esters, ethers, salts, and salts of isomers, esters, and ethers, whenever the existence of these isomers, esters, ethers, and salts is possible within the specific chemical designation” The law also includes opium poppy, poppy straw and any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of any of the substances referred to this section.
What Are the Indiana Drug Laws on Possession of Narcotic Drugs?
Indiana Code 35-48-4-6 clearly states that a person who: “without a valid prescription or order of a practitioner acting in the course of the practitioner’s professional practice, knowingly or intentionally possesses cocaine (pure or adulterated) or a narcotic drug (pure or adulterated) classified in schedule I or II, commits possession of cocaine or a narcotic drug, a Level 6 felony.”
As written in this section of Indiana drug laws, a person caught in possession of a narcotic drug in Indiana can face a Level 5 felony charge if the amount of the drug involved is at least 5 but less than 10 grams; or the amount of the drug involved is less than 5 grams and an enhancing circumstance applies. In some cases, the laws related to the possession of a narcotic drug in Indiana allow for courts to charge offenders with even more serious felonies.
For example, if the amount of the drug involved is at least 10 grams, but less than 28 grams, or the amount is at least 5 grams, but less than 10 grams and an enhancing circumstance applies, the offender can be charged with a Level 4 felony. Furthermore, if the amount of the drug involved exceeds 28 grams or the amount is at least 10 grams but less than 28 grams, and an enhancing circumstance applies, the offender can be charged with a Level 3 felony in Indiana.
Is Weed Legal in Indiana?
Given the laws in surrounding states, many people wonder to themselves, “is weed legal in Indiana?” The answer is no. Indiana marijuana laws deem the substance an illegal drug, and therefore it is a criminal offense to cultivate, possess, and/or deal weed.
Per the Indiana drug laws contained in Indiana Code 35-48-4-11, a person caught in possession of marijuana, hash oil, hashish or salvia; caught growing or cultivating marijuana or knows that marijuana is growing on their property and fails to destroy it; can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Furthermore, if the person has a prior drug offense and they possess under 30 grams of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish, hash oil or salvia, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If the amount of substance they possess exceeds 30 grams of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish, hash oil or salvia, they can be charged with a Level 6 felony, which carries a penalty of six months up to two and a half years of jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.
What Do Indiana Drug Laws Say About Drug Dealing?
Those convicted of drug dealing in Indiana face serious penalties, including up to 30 years in prison. However, the severity of the potential penalty for drug dealing completely depends on the circumstances surrounding the charge; mainly which substance and the weight of the was involved. For example, when it comes to cocaine or narcotic drugs, Indiana Code 35-48-4-1 states that a person caught dealing less than one gram of cocaine can be charged with a Level 5 felony. However, that charge can be elevated under several circumstances, including:
- Level 4 Felony: If the amount of the drug involved is more than 1 gram, but less than 5 grams; or the amount of the drug involved is less than 1 gram, and enhancing circumstances apply; or the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of no more than 90 days, is at least 3 grams but less than 7 grams.
- Level 3 Felony: If the amount of the drug involved is more than 5 grams, but less than 10 grams; or the amount of the drug involved is at least 1 gram but less than 5 grams, and enhancing circumstances apply; or the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of no more than 90 days, is at least 7 grams but less than 12 grams; or the drug is heroin and the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of no more than 90 days, is at least 3 grams but less than 7 grams, and enhancing circumstances apply.
- Level 2 Felony: If the amount of the drug involved is at least 10 grams; or the amount of the drug involved is at least 5 grams but less than 10 grams, and enhancing circumstances apply; or the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of no more than 90 days, is at least 12 grams; or the drug is heroin and the drug is heroin and the amount of the drug, aggregated over a period of no more than 90 days, is at least 7 grams but less than 12 grams, and enhancing circumstances apply.
In contrast, the penalties for dealing marijuana, hashish, hash oil or salvia are much less severe. Indiana Code 35-48-4-10 states that those caught dealing less 30 grams of marijuana or less than 5 grams of hash oil, hashish, or salvia, for the first time, commit a Class A Misdemeanor. However, like most other Indiana drug laws, there are circumstances that can enhance one’s charge. For example, someone dealing marijuana, hashish, hash oil or salvia can be charged with a Level 6 felony if the individual has a prior conviction for a drug offense AND the amount is less than 30 grams of marijuana or less than 5 grams of hash oil, hashish, or salvia; or the individual lacks a previous drug-related conviction, but the amount they possessed was between 30 grams and 10 pounds of marijuana or between 5 grams and 300 grams of hash oil, hashish, or salvia.
Want to Speak with an Indianapolis Drug Attorney?
If you’re being investigated or have been charged under Indiana drug laws, the first thing you should do is hire the best possible drug attorney in Indianapolis. There’s no need to resign yourself to the maximum penalties and carry the weight of a criminal record for years to come. With the help of an experienced and skilled team of Indiana drug crime attorneys, you may be able to minimize your potential penalties or have the charges against you dismissed altogether.
If you’re looking for one of the best drug attorneys in Indianapolis, look no further than Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our criminal defense lawyers have the skills and expertise required to protect your rights and your freedoms. Plus, their past experience as Indianapolis deputy prosecutors means that they have unique insight into how the prosecution will try the case against you.
Ready to begin building your defense? Call our Indianapolis office today at 317-751-7186 or schedule a free consultation.