Possession of a Controlled Substance in Indianapolis

Indiana drug crimes and the penalties associated with these crimes are found under Indiana Code 35-48-4.   The code has specific sections that criminalize the possession and/or sale of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.  Indiana law also prohibits the unlawful possession and/or sale of certain controlled substances that are classified under schedules listed under Indiana Code 35-48-2.  There are five separate schedule; each with their own chapter.   These schedules combine to list hundreds of controlled substances.

Indiana Code 35-48-2-3 puts a specific emphasis on drugs listed under Schedule I, describing these substances as having a “high potential for abuse; and no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.”

Despite controlled substances listed under Schedule I being specifically singled out for their potential for abuse, controlled substances listed under Schedule I, Schedule II, and Schedule III are grouped together for purposes of criminal liability.  Schedule II includes opiates such as heroin and oxycodone, and various other controlled substances such as codeine and morphine.  Some of the more common controlled substances found under Schedule III are anabolic steroids and certain hallucinogenic substances.

Indiana Code 35-48-4-2 lists the possible penalties associated with a conviction for Dealing in a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance.  The base level offense for dealing a level I, II, or III controlled substance is a Level 6 felony.  These charges can be enhanced to as high as a level 2 felony if the amount of the drug is greater than twenty-eight (28) grams, or if it weighs more than ten (10) grams and enhancing circumstances apply.

Indiana Code 35-48-4-3 sets forth the penalties for those convicted of dealing in a Schedule IV controlled substance.  Schedule IV drugs tend to have a lower rate of abuse than the drugs listed the preceding schedules.  Some of the more common drugs found in Schedule IV are Alprazolam, Diazepam, and Lorazepam.  The base level offense for dealing in a Scheduled IV controlled substance is a level 6 felony, and can be elevated to a level 3 felony if the amount of the drug is greater than twenty-eight (28) grams, or if it weighs more than ten (10) grams and enhancing circumstances apply.

Dealing in a Schedule V controlled substance is codified under Indiana Code 35-48-4-4.  Schedule V controlled substances are narcotic drugs that contain active medicinal ingredients.   The penalties associated with this charge can range from a misdemeanor to a level 4 felony.

Indiana Code 35-48-4-6 prohibits the possession of cocaine or any other narcotic drug classified in Schedule I or II.  The base level offense under this section is a level 6 felony, but can be enhanced to as a high a level 3 felony under certain circumstances.

Possession of a controlled substance; or obtaining a schedule V controlled substance is regulated by Indiana Code 35-48-4-7.  This statute criminalizes possessing certain schedule I, II, III, and IV controlled substances without a valid prescription.  This offense is an A misdemeanor unless enhancing circumstances apply.  This statute also makes it an A misdemeanor to improperly obtain certain amounts of a Schedule V controlled substance.

The consequences of a drug conviction can be far reaching and the severe.    Given the complexity of Indiana laws involving controlled substances it is important to retain an experienced drug lawyer.  Always make sure you understand all of your legal rights and options.


The attorneys at Hayes Ruemmele LLC have handled hundreds of drug cases.  To schedule a free initial appointment with our skilled criminal defense attorneys, send us an email or call us at (317) 671-8786.