Consequences for juvenile drug possession in Indiana

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2019 | Drug Charges

Indiana has been fighting the war on drugs for decades, which is why the state doles out strict penalties for those who so much as possess a controlled substance. It is also why the state does not take a lax stance on juvenile drug possession.

According to Indiana Code Title 31. Family Law and Juvenile Law § 31-30-3-2, the juvenile courts must waive jurisdiction to a court that would have jurisdiction had an adult committed the same offense if certain factors exist. Two such factors are as follows:

  • The juvenile in question committed a felonious act.
  • The child is question was at least 14 years of age when he or she committed the act.

According to FindLaw, the state of Indiana almost always considers drug possession a felony offense.

When law enforcement catches a juvenile in possession of cocaine or methamphetamine, the state will likely charge him or her with Class D, Class C, Class B or Class A felony. Which degree of felony the state will pursue depends on the amount of drugs in a juvenile’s possession as well as where law enforcement captured the offenders. For instance, if a person had less than three grams on him or her at the time of arrest, the state may charge him or her with a Class D felony. However, if the amount was more than three grams, the charge increases to a Class C felony. If the offender was in possession of either drug within 1000 feet of a school, the state may charge him or her with a Class A or B felony. The same goes for heroin, Ecstasy, LSD and other Schedule I drugs.

If law enforcement picks up a juvenile for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana, the state may charge him or her with a Class A misdemeanor. In this instance, the state may try the child as a juvenile. If the child possesses more than 30 grams, however, the charge increases to a Class D Felony.

A Class D Felony carries with it a prison term of between six months and three years. The state may reduce the charge to a Class A misdemeanor in certain circumstances.

A Class C felony may result in a prison term of between two and eight years. A Class B felony can result in six to 20 years in prison, and a Class A felony can lead to a 20- to 50-year prison sentence. Each type of felony carries a fine of up to $10,000.

Possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana may result in a fine of up to $5,000. It may also entail up to one year in county jail.