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Indiana cocaine law and penalties

On Behalf of | May 16, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Cocaine is a powdered substance made from the leaves of the coca plant. Since it is highly addictive, controlled substance laws make it illegal. A person caught buying or selling it in Indiana could face some stiff penalties.

Cocaine laws overview

Indiana divides controlled substances into schedules I to V, based on addiction risk, medical use, and danger level to society. Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, which have no approved medical use. Cocaine is grouped into Schedule II substances with a lower addiction risk than Schedule I and limited medical benefits.

The prosecution must prove the defendant knowingly possessed the drugs and willingly committed the crime or had the intent. Criminal defense could argue the substance is not cocaine and have it analyzed to ensure it is. They may also argue entrapment, the drugs were planted, no knowledge, and improper search and seizure.

Penalties

Penalties for possessing under five grams include up to a $10,00 fine and six months to 36 months of probation. Possessing five to 10 grams is a Level 5 felony with penalties of up to a $10,000 fine and a six-year jail term.

The sale of less than one gram of cocaine is a Level 5 felony, but penalties may increase depending on the amount. Selling 10 grams or more of cocaine is a Level 2 felony, which comes with a minimum 10-year jail term.

Level 6 charges are commonly counted as wobblers, which may get charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Enhanced penalties may apply if the defendant was caught within 1,000 feet of a school, possesses a firearm or sold drugs to a minor.

Cocaine charges can make getting jobs and applying for federal student aid difficult. However, sometimes, instead of a jail term, first or second offenders get the alternative sentence of drug court. A good defense may work out a plea bargain for repeat offenders.