The Gaunt | Law Office

More Than 20 Years Of Experience With Criminal Matters

Dumping drug waste can lead to trouble

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2023 | Drug-related Charges

Illicit drugs come in all shapes and forms. While some substances occur naturally or are prepared from natural sources such as cocaine and heroin, other drugs are artificial like amphetamines.

Many are aware thanks to depictions in popular media that synthetic drug manufacturers use dangerous chemical substances. While the drugs produced are unsafe enough, their toxic components can sometimes be just as hazardous, if not more so. Some synthetic drugs can also produce waste byproducts, which are equally toxic in some cases.

Whether it’s the excess ingredients or waste byproduct of a drug, these substances can be dead giveaways that a person could be producing or is in possession of controlled substances, which is a crime in Indiana. While someone might think it would be best to dispose of the substances, the state also has a law against such an action.

Drug waste disposal is a crime

Anyone who dumps, discharges or transports chemicals used in the illegal manufacture of a controlled substance or the waste produced in the manufacturing of a controlled substance can be charged with dumping controlled substance waste.

Notably, the state makes no exceptions when charging individuals for dumping drug waste. Under Indiana law, anyone charged with the offense can’t claim in court as a defense that they didn’t manufacture any controlled substance.

The penalties for drug waste disposal

A person convicted of dumping controlled substance waste gets a Level 6 felony on their criminal record. Level 6 felonies are the lowest grade of felonies and can count as a misdemeanor for sentencing purposes. If considered a misdemeanor, the convicted faces up to six months of jail time. However, if counted as a felony, the convicted must pay a maximum $10,000 fine and serve up to two and a half years in prison.

Even unwitting persons can be charged

Because state law says it’s not a defense for someone charged with dumping drug waste to claim that they didn’t manufacture any controlled substances, even an innocent passerby could face prosecution. Whether they’re a friend trying to fix a mess, a cleaner just doing their job or a landlord unaware of their tenant’s drug manufacturing, officials can still charge them under the law.

Dumping drug waste may not be as heavy a crime as producing controlled substances, but a conviction still leads to fines, prison time and a felony on criminal record. Nobody should take this criminal charge lightly.