Indianapolis Drug Crime Attorney
Eskew Law LLC has assisted countless clients with fighting drug charges in Indianapolis and throughout the northern and southern parts of the state. The Indiana General Assembly is responsible for codifying all drug offenses, as well as enumerating which substances are considered controlled. A conviction for a drug offense can be utterly devastating for your family and your future. In order to minimize or even avoid the negative effects and stigma of a drug conviction, you need the right Indianapolis drug crime attorney. When choosing a lawyer, you need to consider what your goals are for the case, as well as the type of representation you would prefer.
Eskew Law LLC provides one-on-one personalized representation for all clients from the start to the conclusion of their cases. Our attorneys will maintain constant contact, keeping clients apprised of developments, thoroughly discussing all options, and helping clients make important decisions by making sure they are fully informed. To learn more about how we can help you strategize on your own terms, contact Eskew Law LLC at (317) 974-0177.
The Indiana Code criminalizes the possession, distribution, and manufacture of controlled substances. Controlled substances are drugs with a likelihood of abuse.
The Indiana General Assembly has organized controlled substances into five schedules: Schedules I-V.
- Schedule I: Street drugs with a “high potential for abuse” such as marijuana, ecstasy, LSD, and heroin
- Schedule II: Less addictive street drugs or pharmaceutical drugs with a “high potential for abuse” such as cocaine, PCP, methamphetamine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine
- Schedule III: Less addictive pharmaceutical drugs with a moderate or high risk of physical or psychological dependence such as steroids or Suboxone
- Schedule IV: Barely addictive pharmaceutical drugs with a low risk of physical or psychological dependence such as sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and mood stabilizers
- Schedule V: Pharmaceutical drugs with even less likelihood of abuse or dependence than Schedule IV drugs such as small amounts of codeine
Controlled substances include both street drugs and pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs require valid prescriptions from doctors. Without a prescription, the possession or trafficking of a pharmaceutical drug is illegal. For additional information, consult an experienced Indianapolis drug crime attorney.
The Indiana Code groups manufacturing, financing the manufacturing, delivery, and financing the delivery of a controlled substance as “dealing in” a narcotic or controlled substance. Manufacturing involves concocting, cooking, or growing a controlled substance. This can involve combining ingredients to make an illegal street drug such as methamphetamine from scratch. This can also involve planting marijuana seeds, watering the plants, and harvesting them.
Manufacturing a controlled substance requires either knowledge or intent. You must either know you are manufacturing something that is prohibited by law or you must intend to manufacture such a substance.
In addition, even if you play no part in the actual manufacturing process, you can be prosecuted under this law if you in some way finance the manufacture of the drug, such as purchasing equipment or ingredients.
Delivery is often referred to as sale, distribution, or trafficking. When a controlled substance exchanges hands from one person to another, delivery has occurred. This can happen when a dealer sells a drug to another or when a manufacturer transfers a finished product to the dealer.
Often times, the police will not have evidence of a direct hand-to-hand transfer. However, if a controlled substance leaves your possession and enters another person’s possession, you can be charged, even if that person was not present at the time of delivery. For instance, if you drop off a street drug at someone’s home when they are not there, you have delivered the substance.
Like manufacturing, financing the delivery is also criminalized. If you are not involved in the physical delivery but you provide some financial assistance towards the delivery, such as paying someone to deliver the drugs or supplying the vehicle, you can be charged and speaking with a knowledgeable Indianapolis drug crime lawyer at Eskew Law LLC may be in your best interest.
In addition, delivery requires either knowledge or intent. If you intend to transfer ownership of a controlled substance, you are criminally liable. However, if you had no idea the substance was an illegal drug, you cannot be convicted under the statute.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
Sometimes, the Indianapolis police suspect that you are going to sell, distribute, or otherwise deliver a controlled substance but have no overt evidence of a delivery. The police may then arrest you for possession with intent to distribute (PWID). PWID is usually charged when a substantial amount of the drug is present to indicate it is not for personal use. In addition, PWID is also coupled with circumstantial evidence of dealing, such as Ziplock baggies, large amounts of cash, or a scale.
The drugs do not have to be found on your person in order for you to be charged. There are two types of criminalized possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession occurs when you are in direct physical possession of the drug. It is in your hand or in your pockets. Constructive possession occurs when you have knowledge of the drugs, as well as the present intent and ability to control the drugs. Constructive PWID is often charged when drugs are found in someone’s car or home. For example, if drugs are found in your bedroom nightstand, the prosecutor may introduce evidence that the bedroom belonged to you and that only you had access to the nightstand. In either event, you may wish to consult an aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Indianapolis, IN.
Possession of a controlled substance is akin to PWID. However, the charge is generally smaller as the possession is associated with personal use. Likewise, simple possession can be either actual or constructive. Simple possession is the most commonly charged Indiana drug crime and is associated with lighter penalties.
The potential sentences for dealing in a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, and simple possession all vary based on the type of drug and the amount, as well as other aggravating factors such as your criminal history and the presence of a weapon. Generally speaking, though, dealing in a controlled substance is a felony. For example, dealing in cocaine is a Level 5 felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The sentence can be enhanced if the dealing occurs on school property, a school bus, or public park grounds or at a youth center or public housing complex or if there is a gun present, the accused has a prior conviction for dealing drugs or if there is enough quantity of the drug. However, simple possession can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. For example, possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in county jail, while possession of more than 30 grams is a Level 6 felony.
Fight Drug Charges with a Reputable and Well-Regarded Indianapolis Criminal Defense Law Firm
A felony or misdemeanor drug conviction can result in a loss of freedom, inability to maintain employment, difficulty finding an apartment, and child custody and parenting time issues. If you were arrested for a drug offense in Indiana, call Eskew Law LLC. With over a decade of experience, our skilled Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers can help craft a defense strategy that is customized to the facts of your case and your goals. We take this privilege and responsibility seriously for all of our clients throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. Call Eskew Law LLC today at (317) 974-0177 to schedule a case evaluation.