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Understanding Indiana Drug Possession Laws


Understanding the intricacies of drug possession laws in Indiana is crucial for protecting one's rights and liberties. However, comprehending the legal nuances within Indiana's criminal code can be challenging for many Hoosiers.

Exploring Indiana's Drug Possession Laws: An Overview

Indiana's laws pertaining to drug possession are outlined in Indiana Code 35-48-4-7. This statute delineates that individuals found in possession of controlled substances listed in Schedules I, II, III, or IV may face Class A misdemeanor charges. It's essential to note that exceptions exist for individuals possessing valid prescriptions for these substances, and the law does not encompass possession of marijuana, hashish, or salvia. Distinct and more severe drug possession laws apply to specific controlled substances like cocaine, methamphetamine, and other narcotics.

Defining Controlled Substances in Indiana

According to Indiana Code 35-48-1-17.4, controlled substances encompass drugs, substances, or immediate precursors listed in Schedules I-V. While the specific scheduling details can be found in Indiana Code 35-48-2, commonly encountered scheduled drugs include:

Schedule I: LSD, MDMA (or molly), ecstasy, heroin, psilocybin (or magic mushrooms), GHB, and mescaline.

Schedule II: Morphine, opium, fentanyl, OxyContin, Adderall, Ritalin, Percocet, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse.

Schedule III: Ketamine, Suboxone, Tylenol with codeine, and various anabolic steroids.

Schedule IV: Xanax, Klonapin, Modafinil (brand name Provigil), and Phentermine.

Schedule V: Lyrica and other low-level narcotic drugs.

Marijuana's Status as a Controlled Substance in Indiana

Yes, marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance in Indiana. However, Indiana's laws concerning marijuana possession are relatively lenient compared to other controlled substances. Possession of marijuana, hash oil, hashish, or salvia is considered a Class B misdemeanor under Indiana Code 35-48-4-11. The severity of penalties increases based on prior offenses and the quantity of marijuana involved.

Narcotic Drug Possession Laws in Indiana

Indiana Code 35-48-4-6 delineates that possession of cocaine or a narcotic drug (whether pure or adulterated) listed in Schedules I or II constitutes a Level 6 felony. Narcotic drugs encompass opium, opiates, and their derivatives, along with opium poppy, poppy straw, and related compounds.

Potential Penalties and Enhancing Circumstances

The severity of penalties for drug possession violations hinges on various factors, including the type and quantity of the substance and any enhancing circumstances present. Possession of controlled substances classified in Schedules I-IV, excluding certain exceptions, typically constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. However, enhancing circumstances outlined in Indiana Code 35-48-1-16.5 can elevate charges to a Level 6 felony, potentially resulting in imprisonment and substantial fines.

For offenses involving methamphetamine, cocaine, or narcotic drugs, penalties are more severe. Possession of these substances in varying quantities may result in Level 6 to Level 3 felony charges, carrying significant prison sentences and fines.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession

While marijuana possession laws in Indiana are comparatively lenient, penalties vary based on factors such as prior offenses and the quantity of marijuana involved. Possession of marijuana constitutes a Class B misdemeanor at minimum, with penalties escalating for subsequent offenses or larger quantities.

Seek Legal Guidance

If you have inquiries regarding Indiana's drug possession laws or are facing drug-related charges, legal guidance is essential. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide personalized advice and representation tailored to your specific situation. Contact Brinkley Law at 317-643-1813 for any questions involving drug possession charges.


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