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6 Elements That Can Increase the Severity of a Drug Possession Charge in Indiana Contact Us
Indianapolis Criminal & OWI Lawyers > Blog > Drug Crimes > 6 Elements That Can Increase the Severity of a Drug Possession Charge in Indiana

6 Elements That Can Increase the Severity of a Drug Possession Charge in Indiana


Indiana takes the offense of drug possession very seriously. A drug possession conviction can have serious consequences that can impact a person’s life significantly. Being convicted of drug possession in Indiana can lead to, among other things, incarceration and fines. The exact consequences you face for a drug possession conviction in Indiana depend on various factors. Certain elements can increase the severity of a drug possession charge in Indiana. Below, we discuss six of these elements.

  1. Prior Criminal History

If you are facing drug possession charges in Indiana, your criminal history will be scrutinized. A prior criminal conviction, especially for a drug-related offense, can significantly increase the severity of your drug possession charge. If you are a repeat offender, you risk facing harsher penalties than someone who does not have a criminal history. For instance, you could face a longer prison sentence and higher fines because you are considered a greater risk to society.

  1. Drug Type

The type of drug allegedly found in your possession will play a significant role in determining the severity of the charges against you. In Indiana, drugs are classified into different schedules based on their risk or potential for abuse. The five drug schedules in Indiana are Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V.  Schedule I drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse, followed by Schedule II, III, IV, and then V. If you are accused of being in possession of a schedule I, II or III drug, you could face a felony charge.

  1. Quantity of Drugs

In Indiana, the quantity of drugs that someone is found with can significantly impact the severity of their possession case. Larger drug quantities often indicate intent to distribute or sell, which can result in harsher penalties.

  1. Intent to Distribute

If the police suspect that you intend to distribute or sell the drugs rather than use them yourself, your charges could escalate. Usually, simple possession results in lighter penalties than drug possession with the intent to distribute. Evidence that can indicate intent to distribute includes large amounts of cash, large quantities of drugs, multiple types of drugs, a scale, multiple phones, and manufacturing or packaging materials.

  1. Location of Arrest

Where the drug possession arrest occurred can impact the severity of your possession charge. Arrests that occur near schools, school bus stops, parks, churches, or public housing developments may result in enhanced criminal penalties. These areas are considered “drug-free zones.”

  1. Presence of a Weapon

Possessing drugs and a weapon can aggravate the charges against you. If you have a weapon during a drug possession arrest, it could result in additional charges related to weapon possession., increasing the overall severity of the case.

When facing drug possession charges in Indiana, it is crucial that you promptly seek legal representation and avoid discussing your case with anyone except your attorney. Ensure you follow your attorney’s advice and cooperate with the authorities as necessary. However, remember to exercise your right to remain silent. Do not talk to the authorities without your attorney present.

Legal Help Is Available

Our Indianapolis drug crime lawyers at Rigney Law LLC can help you with your drug possession case. We have years of experience helping people facing drug charges, including drug possession charges.

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