Indiana Sale of a Controlled Substance Laws

Learn about the penalties for selling drugs in Indiana.

All states regulate and control the sale of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for their sale. Indiana considers not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine to be controlled substances, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.

How Indiana Classifies Controlled Dangerous Substances

Indiana divides its CDS into five “schedules” based on factors such as their potential for abuse, and whether they are approved for legitimate medical use:

  • Schedule I drugs (such as opiates and heroin) have a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, or are unsafe for use in treatment, even under medical supervision.
  • Schedule II drugs (such as morphine and opium) have a high potential for abuse, have an accepted medical use and can result in severe psychological and physical dependence if abused.
  • Schedule III drugs (such as LSD and anabolic steroids) have a potential for abuse less than Schedule I or II drugs, have an accepted medical use and can lead to low or moderate physical dependence and high psychological dependence.
  • Schedule IV drugs (such as diazepam) have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs, have an acceptable medical use and may lead to limited psychological and physical dependence in relation to Schedule III drugs.
  • Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous, with the lowest potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use, and likely to lead to only limited physical or psychological dependence. Schedule V drugs include medicines that have very small amounts of specified narcotic drugs.

To understand the charges and penalties you might face, look at the charging document in your case (usually called either a complaint or “information”, or, if from a grand jury, an indictment). Identify the name of the drugs specified in the document, consult the schedules explained above, and place them in the proper schedule. Then read below to learn about possible charges and sentences. The statute that explains what drug fits into each schedule is Indiana Code Section 35-48-2.

This article concerns the unlawful sale of CDS. Separate punishments apply to the possession of CDS, or for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances. For information about the possession for personal use of CDS, see Possession of a Controlled Substance in Indiana.

How Indiana Classifies CDS Sales Crimes

Indiana divides felonies into four classes: A, B, C and D. Class A felonies are the most serious. Felony sales crimes can be of any class. Misdemeanors are divided into three classes: Class A, B, and C. The only misdemeanor sale crime is a Class A.

Sentences for Felony Convictions

In addition to stating the possible terms of incarceration, Indiana law provides for an advisory period a well. An advisory sentence is a period of incarceration between the permitted minimum and maximum terms that the court may, at its discretion, impose on the defendant.

Class A felony. A Class A felony is punishable by a period of incarceration of 20 to fifty years, with the advisory sentence being 30 years, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Class B felony. A Class B felony is punishable by a period of incarceration of six to 20 years, with an advisory sentence of ten years, and a fine of up to $10,000

Class C felony. A Class C felony is punishable by a period of incarceration of two to eight years, with the advisory sentence being four years, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Class D felony. A Class D felony is punishable by a period of incarceration of six months to three years, with the advisory sentence being 1.5 years, and a fine of up to $10,000. Under certain circumstances, the court has the option to enter a judgment for a Class A misdemeanor. To see if you qualify for a reduced conviction you should review the statute.

(Illinois statute sections 35-50-2-4 through 35-50-2-7.)

Felony Sale of CDS

A felony conviction for the sale of CDS is punished with long periods of incarceration and steep financial penalties.

Class A felony sale

Cocaine, Schedule I or II narcotics, and methamphetamine. The delivery, possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of three grams or more of cocaine, Schedule I or II narcotics, or methamphetamine is a Class A felony.

Sales involving a minor or near certain properties. The delivery, possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of any amount of Schedule I, II, or III CDS is a Class A felony if:

  • the defendant delivered or financed the delivery of the drug to a person under the age of 18 who was at least three years younger than the defendant, or
  • the defendant committed the offense on a school bus, or within 1,000 feet of a public park, public housing complex, or youth program center.

Class B felony sale

Schedule I, II, or III CDS and methamphetamine. The delivery, possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of Schedule I, II, or III CDS (other than discussed above and marijuana, hash, hash oil, hashish, salvia, or synthetic cannabinoid) is a Class B felony.

Sales involving a minor or near certain properties. The delivery, possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of any Schedule IV or V CDS is a Class B felony if:

  • the defendant delivered or financed the delivery of the drug to a person under the age of 18 who was at least three years younger than the defendant, or
  • the defendant committed the offense on a school bus, or within 1,000 feet of a public park, public housing complex, or youth program center.

Class C felony sale

The delivery of, or possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of any amount of Schedule IV or V CDS is a Class C felony.

(Indiana Code Sections 35-48-4-1 through 35-48-4-4.)

Marijuana, Hash Oil, Hashish, Salvia, or Synthetic Cannabinoid

Like all CDS sales crimes, the punishment for the sale of marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia and synthetic cannabinoid depends on the amount of the substance involved and whether there were any other aggravating factors (such as the involvement of a minor) in the underlying crime.

Class C felony. The delivery, possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia, or synthetic cannabinoid is a Class C felony if:

  • the crime involves ten pounds or more of marijuana
  • the crime involves 300 grams or more of hash oil, hashish, salvia, or synthetic cannabinoid
  • the sale occurred on a school bus, or
  • the sale occurred within 1,000 feet of school property, a public park, or a public housing complex.

Class D felony. The delivery, possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia, or synthetic cannabinoid is a Class D felony if:

  • the recipient is a minor
  • the crime involves more than 30 grams but less than ten pounds of marijuana
  • the crime involves more than two grams but less than 300 grams of hash oil, hashish, salvia, or synthetic cannabinoid, or
  • the defendant has a prior conviction for any crime that involves marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia, or synthetic cannabinoid.

Class A misdemeanor. Unless otherwise discussed in this article, the delivery, possession with the intent to deliver, or financing the delivery of marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia, or synthetic cannabinoid is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a period of incarceration of up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000.

(Indiana Code Section 35-48-4-10.)

For more information see Indiana Marijuana Laws.

Habitual Offenders

If you are found to be a habitual offender, the court will sentence you to an additional fixed period of incarceration for at least the term of the advisory sentence for the underlying offense. However, the term cannot be more than three times the advisory sentence for the underlying offense, nor can it exceed 30 years.

You should review the applicable statute to see if your prior convictions qualify you as a habitual offender.

(Indiana Code Section 35-50-2-8.)

Talk To An Attorney

If you have been charged with the sale of CDS, you face serious penalties that will have life-long consequences. To understand your options and the possible outcomes of your case, you should speak to an attorney that specializes in representing CDS crimes.

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