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What are the penalties for possession with intent to distribute?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Criminal Law

A conviction for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute in Indiana will have harsh penalties, including time spent in prison and fines. It is treated seriously as the nature of the offense is that there is an intention to sell, manufacture or deliver illegal substances to other people.

There are lots of factors to take into consideration that will determine the seriousness of the offense and in turn, what penalty the court considers appropriate. The most significant of these will be what type of drug was involved.

Types of drug are split into 5 categories

The Indiana Department of Health categorizes different drugs into five schedules which go in descending order of their potential for abuse.

Those in Schedule I are considered to have a high potential for abuse without any accepted medical use or treatment in the USA. This will include drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. An arrest for possession with the intent to distribute one of these drugs is the most serious and will be a level 1 felony and is therefore punishable by a prison sentence that spans 20-50 years and a $10,000 fine.

Moving on from there, an arrest for distributing a Schedule II or III controlled substance will be treated as a level 2 felony. The penalties for this include a prison sentence of 6-20 years and a $10,000 fine. This includes drugs like OxyContin, ketamine and steroids.

A Schedule IV or V controlled substance distribution conviction is considered a level 3 felony punishable by 2-8 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Drugs such as tramadol and valium are within this category.

It’s important to seek early legal help if you’ve been arrested for a drug crime. This gives you the best chance at successfully fighting the charges against you and in negotiating a lower sentence.