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Controlled Substance: Possession Vs. Possession with Intent to Distribute

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

What is the difference between Possession and Possession with Intent to Distribute?

Possession of a Controlled Substance:

A charge of possession of a controlled substance is associated with personal use. The state is not accusing you of trying to sell or distribute the drugs to other individuals. 

According to IC §35-48-4-7, you are in illegal possession of a controlled substance and commit a Class A misdemeanor if:

  • You do not have a valid prescription or an order of a practitioner; AND
  • You knowingly or intentionally are in possession of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV substance — except for Hashish, marijuana, synthetic cannabinoid, or salvia.

The statute makes it a crime to have more than four ounces of a Schedule V substance containing codeine in any 48 hour period. The only exception is you have a valid prescription or sign an exempt narcotic register maintained by a pharmacy licensed in Indiana. Therefore, you must be careful. A person who intentionally obtains or intentionally possesses this type of drug must abide by the law to avoid a possession charge.

Simple possession charges generally have lighter penalties. However, you should still consider possession as a serious drug offense. 

Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute

Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute means that the state suspects that you intend to distribute, sell, or otherwise deliver a controlled substance. 

Generally, the police officers will charge someone with the intent to distribute if the amount of the controlled substance is large enough to indicate that it is not for personal use. Other evidence they may use for this charge is drugs separated into bags or other containers, the presence of a scale to measure the drugs, and large amounts of cash.

How to Fight a Possession of a Controlled Substance Charge

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with possession of a controlled substance, paraphernalia, or precursors, you can’t just rely on an Internet search for “drug crime lawyers near me” to find the help you need. Only by hiring a local experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney do you give yourself the best chance to fight your charges. Call (574) 268-99995 or complete our online contact form. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help.