Possession of Spice, Synthetic Drugs Carries Harsher Penalties Than Marijuana
Synthetic drugs are manufactured to mimic the high of traditional drugs, such as marijuana and ecstasy, when smoked or ingested. Common names for synthetic drugs include spice, K2, incense, potpourri, and bath salts, which can be purchased through stores and online retailers. Some may perceive that drugs created in a lab are safer than drugs found on the street. However, the hospitalizations and deaths across the US resulting from the use of synthetic drugs have caused the Indiana legislature and local law enforcement to respond.
With the overhaul of the criminal code in 2014, the penalties for possessing synthetic drugs are now harsher than the penalties for possessing marijuana.
A person who knowingly or intentionally possesses a synthetic drug commits a Class A misdemeanor. A person who possess marijuana commits a Class B misdemeanor.
Possession of a synthetic drug is elevated to a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior synthetic drug conviction. Possession of marijuana is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a prior conviction for any type of drug. Possession of marijuana is elevated to a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior drug conviction and possesses at least 30 grams.
In other words, a prior conviction for possession of marijuana will not elevate synthetic drug charges to a felony, but a prior conviction for synthetic drugs could potentially elevate possession of marijuana to a felony, if the other conditions apply.
Local law enforcement have aggressively targeted the possession of synthetic marijuana and other drugs. However, to obtain a conviction for misdemeanor or felony possession, the State must prove the person knew what the substance was and intended to possess it. If not, possession of synthetic drugs is reduced to a Class B infraction.
Crawfordsville, Montgomery County Attorneys Defend Charges of Possession of Synthetic Marijuana and Other Drugs
If you’ve been arrested for possession of synthetic drugs in Crawfordsville, an experienced criminal defense attorney can review the facts of your case to determine if you have a viable defense according to Indiana law. Did you knowingly and intentionally possess the substance? If you were driving, was the traffic stop initiated legally? If you were searched, did police have a lawful reason to pat you down or search your belongings? The attorneys at our Lafayette, IN office have significant experience defending clients in the Crawfordsville and Montgomery County area. Call Gibson Law Office at 765-742-8440 for a free initial consultation either over the phone or in person with one of our experienced criminal attorneys.