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Indianapolis Criminal & OWI Lawyers > Blog > Drug Crimes > Enhanced Drug Possession in Indiana

Enhanced Drug Possession in Indiana


In Indiana, drug-related crimes, such as drug possession, distribution, and drug trafficking, are taken very seriously. You could face severe penalties if convicted of a drug-related crime in Indiana. In this article, we will talk about drug possession crimes. We will highlight the difference between drug possession and enhanced drug possession in Indiana.

Even if you are found guilty of possessing a small amount of a controlled substance in Indiana, you can face harsh penalties. However, if you are charged with an enhanced drug possession, you can expect to suffer more severe consequences if convicted. And the higher the offense level, the more severe consequences you will face if convicted. Even if it is your first time being accused of a drug-related offense, you could be facing an enhanced drug possession charge. Under Indiana law, it is the alleged circumstances that can result in a simple drug possession charge becoming an enhanced drug possession charge.

Indiana Controlled Substance Schedules

In Indiana, drugs and controlled substances are categorized according to their misuse potential and addictive nature. The categories are called “schedules.” These schedules can be found under IC 35-48-2. In Indiana, Schedule V drugs are considered the least addictive and dangerous. Examples of schedule V drugs are Robitussin and Lyrica. Schedule IV substances are believed to have a slight risk of dependency but have a wide range of medical uses. Examples of Schedule V drugs are diazepam, clonazepam, and tramadol. Schedule III drugs have a moderate risk of addiction and abuse but have accepted medical use. Examples of Schedule III substances are ketamine, anabolic steroids, and codeine. Schedule II substances have a great risk of misuse even though they may have genuine medical uses. Schedule II substances include opium, morphine, pethidine, and oxycodone. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous and addictive and have no accepted medical use. They include heroin, ecstasy, peyote, mescaline, and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

It is vital to note that a drug that is considered a Schedule IV substance, for example, this year, can be regarded as a Schedule III, II, or I substance next year. The State Board of Pharmacy is allowed to suggest modifications to the state legislature at any time.

Drug Possession in Indiana

In Indiana, you are guilty of drug possession if you are found to knowingly have actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance. Actual possession is when you have direct and physical control over the drug. In contrast, constructive possession is when you don’t have direct physical control over the substance but can or intend to possess or control it. Usually, the level of offense you are charged with if found in possession of drugs depends on the type and quantity of drugs in question.

As already mentioned, in Indiana, a simple drug possession charge can become an aggravated drug possession charge if certain enhancing factors are present. An aggravated drug possession charge carries more severe penalties than a simple drug possession charge. According to Indiana law, the following are some of the enhancing factors that can turn a simple drug possession charge into an aggravated drug possession charge;

  • The offender has a prior conviction
  • The offense was committed on a school bus
  • The offender manufactured or financed the manufacture of the drug
  • The offender committed the offense while in possession of a firearm
  • The offense was committed in the presence of a child

Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing drug charges in Indiana, contact the experienced Indiana drug crime lawyers at Rigney Law LLC to get help with your case.



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