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Indianapolis Criminal & OWI Lawyers > Blog > Drug Crimes > Differentiating Between Drug Possession and Possession With Intent to Deliver in Indiana

Differentiating Between Drug Possession and Possession With Intent to Deliver in Indiana


In Indiana, drug-related crimes are taken quite seriously. If you are convicted of a drug crime in Indiana, you could face several consequences. The exact consequences of a drug-related crime depend on the nature of the offense. Two common drug-related crimes that people are convicted of in Indiana are drug possession and possession with intent to deliver. It is important to understand the difference between these two offenses. In this article, we delve into understanding what these two charges entail. Read on!

Understanding Drug Possession in Indiana

Drug possession is the act of illegally having controlled substances in one’s possession for personal use. There are two ways prosecutors can charge a person with when it comes to drug possession. These are actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means that the drugs were found on your person. In other words, it means you were in direct physical possession of the drugs. On the other hand, constructive possession is when the drugs are not found on your person, but you have knowledge of, control over, and intent to exercise control of, the drugs. For example, you could be charged with constructive possession if drugs are found in your vehicle’s glove compartment.

The penalties for drug possession in Indiana include fines, imprisonment, probation, or drug education or treatment programs. The severity and consequences of a drug possession charge depend on various factors, such as the type of drug, the quantity found, and the person’s past criminal history. Generally, Schedule I controlled substances carry the harshest penalties, whereas Schedule V controlled substances carry the lowest penalties. Examples of Schedule I controlled substances include heroin, peyote, LSD, marijuana, and methaqualone. Drugs in Schedule V include Lomotil, Lyrica, Motofen, and Parepectolin.

Understanding Possession With Intent to Deliver

The offense of “intent to deliver” or “possession with intent to deliver” differs from that of possession. The offense of intent to deliver arises when someone possesses drugs with the intent to deliver them to another person. Possession with intent to deliver is a more serious offense compared to drug possession. The penalties for intent to deliver charges are typically harsher than those for drug possession. If you are convicted of the offense of intent to deliver, you could face a lengthy prison sentence, substantial fines, and other severe consequences. However, before you can be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor must prove that you intended to deliver the drugs to someone else and not just possess them for personal use.

Possession with Intent to Deliver cases are often built on what is called circumstantial evidence.  The prosecutor tries to prove intent by looking at the amount of drugs found, the presence of packaging materials, the presence of large amounts of cash, or the defendant’s actions showing a willingness to sell or otherwise deliver the drugs and the absence of “user paraphernalia,”. When a person is found guilty of intent to deliver, the severity of the sentence may depend on various factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history, the type and quantity of drugs involved, and whether a minor was involved.

Contact an Indiana Drug Crime Lawyer

If you are facing drug charges in Indiana, it is crucial that you seek legal help from a skilled attorney. An attorney can help protect your rights and develop a strong defense strategy. Contact our qualified Indianapolis drug crime lawyer at Rigney Law LLC to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

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