Selling prescription drugs may seem like a small offense to you. If you obtained them legally, you might see no harm in profiting off a few pills. Yet, people who buy prescription drugs illegally are likely engaging in drug diversion – using them in recreational settings rather than in their regulated manner. This abuse of prescription drugs is what makes their illegal sale such a serious crime. And it can lead to hefty penalties, no matter your intent.
Understanding Indiana’s laws
In Indiana, prescription drugs used in an illegal manner qualify as a controlled substance. The charges you will receive, then, depend on the schedule of the substance you allegedly sold. The state recognizes five schedules for controlled substances, being:
- Schedule I: Substances with a high potential for abuse and no accepted use for medical purposes
- Schedule II: Substances with a high potential for abuse and an accepted use for medical purposes
- Schedule III: Substances with a moderate potential for abuse and an accepted use for medical purposes
- Schedule IV: Substances with a low potential for abuse and an accepted use for medical purposes
- Schedule V: Substances with less potential for abuse than Schedule IV substances and an accepted use for medical purposes
If your charges stem from selling a Schedule IV or V substance, like Xanax or codeine, you could receive either misdemeanor or felony charges. The penalties for these charges can be as little as a prison sentence up to 180 days and a fine up to $1,000. The most serious of these charges, though, can come with a prison sentence up to 16 years. Yet, your charges may stem from selling a Schedule I, II or III substance, like OxyContin or steroids. Depending on the amount found on your person, you could receive anywhere from Level 5 felony charges to Level 2 felony charges. The penalties for these charges can be as little as a prison sentence up to one year or as much as up to 30 years. No matter which level of felony charge you receive, you may have to pay a fine up to $10,000
Understanding your options
If you’re charged with selling prescription drugs, you will likely fear the consequences that a conviction could bring. Yet, the criminal justice system can be intimidating and complex, and you do not need to navigate it alone. An attorney with criminal defense experience can help you understand your options and your path forward.