Indiana Felony Drug Crimes: What You Need to Know About the Penalties associated with Felony Possession and Dealing

drug crimes

Although recent changes to Indiana laws have reduced the potential penalties for certain drug crimes, possession and sale of narcotics is still taken very seriously. If you’ve been charged with even a minor crime, you’ll still need a reputable narcotics attorney in Indianapolis to fight on your behalf. Should you be convicted, you could potentially face thousands of dollars in fines, years in prison, job loss, loss of financial aid or even your right to stay in the country, if you’re not a U.S. citizen.

Felony drug crimes are extremely complicated and can be difficult to understand, which is why it is important to have an experienced narcotics attorney to help you through the process.  Indiana Code 35-48-1-16.5 provides a list of “Enhancing Circumstances” that can be used by prosecutors to increase the felony level of drug crimes.  Some of these “Enhancing Circumstances” include: location of a transaction or an arrest, prior convictions, and whether a child was present during the offense.  In other words, a person can be charged with a higher level simply for possessing drugs within 500 feet of school property even if no children were present.  

Under Indiana Code 35-48-4-1, a person who is convicted of dealing narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can face a wide range of possible consequences depending on certain aggravating circumstances.  Below, we’ve put together a breakdown of each felony class

  • Level 6 Felony:  A level 6 drug charge carries a possible prison sentence of 6 months to 2.5 years.  A typical level 6 charge derives from the possession of a narcotic.  Possession of Marijuana can also be a level 6 Felony if the person has a prior conviction for a drug offense, and the weight of marijuana exceeds thirty grams.  Dealing Marijuana is a level 6 Felony if any of the following apply: the person has a prior drug related conviction and the amount of marijuana was less than thirty grams; or the amount of drugs was between thirty grams and ten pounds.
  • Level 5 Felony:  A level 5 dealing charge carries a possible prison sentence of 1 to 6 years.  Level 5 dealing charges include the manufacturing, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver narcotics weighing less than one gram.  A person can be charged with Dealing marijuana as a Level 5 felony if he has a prior conviction and the amount of marijuana is between 30 grams and 10 pounds.  The sale of more than 10 pounds of marijuana also qualifies as a Level 5 Felony.
  • Level 4 Felony:  A level 4 dealing charge carries a possible prison sentence of 2 to 12 years.  Level 4 dealing charges include the manufacturing, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver narcotics weighing between one and five grams, or the sale of less than one gram of a narcotic and enhancing circumstances apply.
  • Level 3 Felony:  A level 3 dealing charge carries a possible prison sentence of 3 to 16 years.  Level 3 dealing charges include the manufacturing, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver narcotics weighing between five grams to ten grams, or the sale of at least one gram of a narcotic and enhancing circumstances apply.
  • Level 2 Felony:  A level 2 dealing charge carries a possible prison sentence of 10 to 30 years.  Level 2 dealing charges include the manufacturing, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver narcotics weighing at least ten grams, or the sale of between five and ten grams of a narcotic and enhancing circumstances apply.

Because felony drug crimes are so complex and can vary due to many factors, you need an experienced narcotics lawyer to help you through this time. For more information on Indiana laws pertaining to drug crimes or to schedule a consultation with an attorney, contact Hayes Ruemmele today.