Published in Criminal Law on December 3, 2021.
Nationwide, the most commonly prosecuted crimes are those related to drug possession, and Indiana is no exception. In fact, according to a recent study, Indiana ranked ninth in the nation for drug use.
Over recent years, many states have changed the way they handle minor drug crimes. However, under Indiana drug possession laws, even simple possession is a serious crime carrying the possibility of jail time.
Indiana Drug Possession Laws
Under Indiana possession laws, anyone who is in possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to a year in jail.
However, if an “enhancing circumstance” applies, then courts consider the offense a Level 6 felony.
Level 6 felonies carry a sentence of between six months and three years’ imprisonment, with an advisory term of one year in jail. A conviction for a level 6 felony also carries a maximum fine of $10,000.
Enhancing circumstances include:
- Having a prior conviction for dealing a drug other than marijuana;
- Committing the offense while in possession of a firearm;
- Committing the crime while on a school bus or within 500 feet of a school or public park; and
- Committing the offense in the presence of a child under 18.
What Counts As Possession?
Under Indiana drug laws, you don’t necessarily need to have the drugs on you to face serious criminal charges.
Under the concept of constructive possession, courts will consider the surrounding circumstances when deciding whether you “possessed” the drugs.
For example, if police officers find drugs in a car occupied by several people, anyone in the car could be charged with possession of a controlled substance.
The question the court must answer is whether you “knowingly or intentionally” possessed the drug in question.
On the other hand, it is theoretically possible to beat a drug case even if the drugs were found on you, provided you can convince the court that you were unaware that you had the drugs.
For example, if you borrowed a friend’s coat and, unbeknownst to you, they had a small amount of drugs in their pocket.
An experienced Indiana drug crime lawyer can help anyone facing drug charges understand all possible defenses and determine which is most applicable in their case.
Contact Eskew Law, LLC., for Help Defending Against Indiana Drug Charges
If you face criminal charges related to a violation of Indiana drug laws, the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Eskew Law, LLC., are here to help.
We have extensive experience representing clients facing all types of charges under Indiana possession laws. The evidence seized in these cases is often in violation of your constitutional rights and, therefore, inadmissible at trial.
To learn more about our unique approach to handling Indiana drug possession cases, give Eskew Law, LLC., a call at 317-268-8760 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us through our online form.