Published in Criminal Law on February 22, 2023.
The term “drug possession” can encompass many scenarios, from minor to the most serious drug offenses. While it is true you can face unsavory consequences for even minimal marijuana possession, a conviction for aggravated drug possession will almost surely result in much more severe sanctions. Whether or not this is your first time in trouble for drugs, if you’ve been caught with a large quantity, you could be looking at a significant loss of freedom. You need an experienced lawyer to protect your interests. Contact the drug attorneys at Eskew Law, LLC, for a solid, sharp defense.
Controlled Substance Schedule
The Indiana legislature adopted the Uniform Controlled Substances Act to address the illegal possession, manufacture, and distribution of drugs. The drugs addressed by the Act include those that may have accepted medical purposes but also have the potential for dependency, abuse, and causing harm to users.
Indiana bases its drug crime laws on a drug schedule. The schedule groups drugs according to their accepted medical use and risk of addiction and abuse. Schedule V drugs are the least harmful, while Schedule I drugs are the most serious.
The schedules are as follows:
- Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous because they have no accepted medical use and have a high addiction risk. (e.g., heroin, ecstasy).
- Schedule II drugs also have a high risk of dependency and abuse but have some accepted forms of medicinal use. (e.g., oxycodone, Vicodin).
- Schedule III substances have a moderate risk of abuse and addiction and have accepted medical use. (e.g., anabolic steroids, Tylenol with Codeine).
- Schedule IV drugs have a low risk of abuse and have medicinal use. (e.g., Ambien, Tramadol).
- Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous classification because they are typically available to the public without a prescription for purchase over-the-counter (e.g., Robitussin, Lyrica).
While these are just some examples of the different types of drugs in each Schedule, there are dozens more. It is not always readily apparent which category a drug may fall into. If you were recently charged with drug possession and have questions, contact Eskew Law, LLC, today. We will gladly take the time to discuss the law and your options.
Possession vs. Aggravated Possession
To be guilty of drug possession, one must knowingly have direct physical control over the illegal substance. Typically, your charge will depend on the type and quantity of drugs found in your possession. For example, if you have a small amount of marijuana on your person, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. But as the amount of drugs increases, the level of crime the prosecutor will likely charge you with increases as well.
A simple drug possession charge can become aggravated drug possession if the presence of certain aggravating or enhancing factors is present. In Indiana, if enhancing or aggravating circumstances are present, the level of the offense rises. Of course, the higher the offense level, the more severe consequences a person could face if convicted.
Under Indiana statute, enhancing circumstances means one or more aggravating factors are present. These factors include when the accused:
- Has a prior conviction;
- Committed the offense while in possession of a firearm;
- Committed the crime on a school bus;
- Committed the crime in, on, or within 500 feet of school property or in a public park while children are present;
- Supplied the drug to a juvenile under the age of 18;
- Manufactured or financed the manufacturing of the drug; or
- Committed the offense while in the presence of a child.
Any of these factors will automatically increase the offense level. The penalty for an aggravated drug charge will depend on the circumstances above and the Schedule of the drug involved. Obtaining a keen defense team will be key to defeating these charges.
Contact Us Today!
If you were arrested and charged with aggravated drug possession in Indiana, you probably already understand that you face harsh consequences. Don’t take a chance with your life; hire a seasoned and passionate criminal defense attorney to defend you. At Eskew Law, LLC, we have the caring but aggressive attorneys you need. Let us be your advocate. Contact us through our website or phone to schedule a confidential consultation.