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Laws on the Possession of a Narcotic Drug in Indiana 

The laws on the possession of a narcotic drug in Indiana are located in Indiana Code 35-48-4-6. This section of the law clearly outlines both the offenses and potential penalties for possessing cocaine or a narcotic drug, pure or adulterated, classified in Schedule I or II. It also sets forth a variety of enhancing circumstances in Indiana that may play a role in elevating a possession conviction to a more serious felony.   

Scheduled Drugs, Reference For Laws on Possession of a Narcotic Drug in Indiana

If you’re currently under investigation for, or have already been charged, with violating the laws regarding the possession of narcotic drugs in Indiana, you need to speak with a drug attorney in Indianapolis immediately. The potential penalties for crimes like these can be devastating, and the collateral consequences can wreak havoc on your life for years to come.  

If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, one of the Indianapolis drug crime attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is available to speak with you. Our team has extensive experience protecting the rights of those accused of possessing a narcotic drug in Indiana. Each member of our team is skilled in the handling of Indiana criminal proceedings and can effectively manage evidentiary matters while also working to protect your constitutional rights. To speak with an attorney today, call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. 

The Basics: Possession of a Narcotic Drug in Indiana 

Indiana laws related to the possession of a narcotic drug criminalize the mere possession of cocaine, narcotics, and controlled substances that are listed in schedule I or II. However, it’s important to note that, possession can be actual or constructive. Actual possession means that the offender had direct physical control over the drug. Constructive possession, on the other hand, means that the state has the burden to demonstrate that the alleged offender had dominion and control over the drug, as well as the intent to possess, even if the person did NOT have physical possession of the drug. In addition, possession offenses can also be simple possession or possession with the intent to distribute. 

  • Simple possession: a very common charge which generally involves possession in an amount that indicates the drugs are not for sale or distribution, but instead are for personal use.  
  • Possession with the Intent to Distribute (PWID): a charge that is placed upon an offender when they possess a quantity of the drug that is not likely intended for one person’s use.  

Indiana Code on the Possession of a Narcotic Drug

As contained in Indiana Code 35-48-4-6, the specific laws on the possession of a narcotic drug state 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.” However, as written in this section of Indiana law, the offense can be escalated to a Level 5 felony 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.  

Laws on Possession of a Narcotic Drug in Indiana: Enhancing Circumstances 

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense under the laws on possession of a narcotic drug in Indiana, it’s important to know that given the circumstances of your offense and arrest, you may be subject to enhancing circumstances in Indiana. In some cases, this means that an offense that typically would result in a Level 6 felony could become a Level 5 felony if an enhancing circumstance in Indiana applies to your offense. For more serious Indiana drug crimes, it may mean that an offense that’s usually a Level 4 felony will become a Level 3 felony. This enhancement could add as much as 1-4 years of incarceration to your sentence. To view the full list of enhancing circumstances, see Indiana Code 35-48-1-16.5. 

Enhancing Circumstances for Possession of a Narcotic Drug in Indiana

Hiring an Attorney to Fight Possession Charges in Indiana 

When it comes to charges of possession of narcotic drugs in Indiana, an attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP will generally consider several factors related to your case, including:   

  • Whether the offense involves just possession or possession with intent to distribute 
  • The existence of enhancing circumstances, like the presence of weapons or other people involved in the alleged crime 
  • The range of penalties for the charges; such as incarceration, issues related to professional licensure, fines, probation, etc.   
  • Whether the context of the arrest or investigation demonstrates a violation of your constitutional rights, such as  illegal search or seizure  
  • What other statements have been made to law enforcement or the prosecutor’s office by others involved in the case. 

Furthermore, an experienced defense attorney can help you understand the severity of the charges and the extent of the possible penalties you face, per the Indiana sentencing guidelines

If you’re facing charges under the Indiana laws on possession of a narcotic drug, an attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP is available to speak with you today. Our firm employs some of the best drug attorneys in Indianapolis, who stand prepared to begin building your defense in hopes of minimizing your potential penalties. Don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a free consultation by calling 317-751-7186 or completing our online contact form

Defense Strategies to Fight Possession Charges in Indiana 

When crafting a defense for those facing charges under the laws on drug possession in Indiana, the first place a skilled attorney often looks is the statutory defenses set forth in Indiana code or any available defenses under the US Constitution or Indiana Constitution. They may also try to build a defense based on the evidence or lack thereof in the case.  

Several examples of possible possession of a controlled substance defenses include:   

  • Showing that an unreasonable search and seizure has occurred, which warrants the suppression of evidence, as Hoosiers are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by Indiana Constitution, Article I, Section 11   
  • Demonstrating that the state’s allegation of constructive possession beyond a reasonable doubt is not clearly supported by the evidence they’ve set forth  
  • Clearly showing that state’s case against you relies solely on circumstantial evidence

Have Further Questions about the Laws on Possession of a Narcotic Drug in Indiana?  

If you have further questions about the laws on the possession of a narcotic drug in Indiana, an Indianapolis drug crimes attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP stands ready to walk you through the statute and help you understand the weight of the charges you face. Our team, staffed by former deputy prosecutors, understands Indiana drug laws inside and out, and have argued these cases from both sides of the criminal justice system. Given their past employment, they have a unique understanding of how the prosecution works and the strategies they may deploy against you. Who better to safeguard your rights and work toward the most optimal outcome possible?  

To begin working on your defense, call a criminal defense attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We truly understand everything that’s at stake for you and are prepared to do whatever it takes to protect your rights and secure the best outcome in the case against you, whether that is reducing the charges or having them dismissed, altogether.  

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