The Defense Never Rests

When do drug crime charges become felonies?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Criminal Law

Most states have very specific statutes about drugs. For example, some states, such as California and Oregon, have legalized marijuana, while in other states, including Indiana, marijuana is not legal.

The level of criminal charges for possession, distribution and manufacturing, also differs by state. This is what you should know about Indiana’s drug laws.

Possession charges

If you only consider state laws, not federal drug statutes, first offenses and possession of low quantities of marijuana are misdemeanors, if you have more than 30 grams, your possession charges turn into a Level 6 felony. In addition, enhanced circumstances can raise a lesser possession amount from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Dealing or intent to sell

Manufacturing, dealing, financing or delivering marijuana becomes a felony when you have more than 30 grams or more. The felony level depends on the circumstances, e.g., selling to a minor, and the total amount in your possession. For example, if you have less than 10 pounds of marijuana, you can face a Level 6 felony, while more than 10 pounds results in a Level 5 felony.

Enhanced circumstances

Enhanced circumstances include prior convictions even if they did not occur in Indiana. Possession of a firearm while committing drug crimes, delivery or financing of drugs to minors at least three years younger than you, manufacturing and financing drug manufacturing and possession or delivery of the substances when a child is present are other examples of special circumstances.

Harder drugs

Possession, dealing, manufacturing and financing narcotics, cocaine and methamphetamines result in felony charges no matter how much you have in your possession.

In addition to gaining knowledge about drug crimes and charges, you should learn about potential defenses for these types of crimes.