If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime in Ohio, you probably know that a conviction could result in severe punishment. A significant number of detectives, officers, investigators, and prosecutors will most likely be pursuing your case.
To defend yourself, it is imperative that you get the experienced help of a Cincinnati drug crimes lawyer. Patituce & Associates has represented many clients facing state and federal drug charges. Our team has over 70 years of experience and includes former prosecutors.
Types of Drug Crimes
Patituce & Associates has represented many clients facing state and federal drug charges. Some of the cases we handle include:
Charges are not limited to illegal drugs. You can be charged with possession for having controlled prescription drugs without a valid prescription from a licensed and authorized professional, or if the quantity exceeds what is legally allowed.
Possession With Intent to Distribute
Having sufficiently large quantities of a controlled substance is regarded as having the intent to distribute them. The penalties can increase radically based on the amount of drugs.
You can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia for having items such as a bong or crack pipe that shows an intent to break drug laws.
Prescription fraud happens when people obtain medications through deception. It includes doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors, forging prescriptions, altering prescriptions, and obtaining prescriptions by portraying yourself as a physician.
Manufacturing & Cultivation
Ohio law prohibits growing marijuana and manufacturing drugs unless you’re licensed as a medical marijuana cultivator or drug manufacturer. There are heavy penalties for the illegal manufacture or cultivation of drugs.
Anyone involved in the sale or transportation of controlled substances can be charged with drug trafficking. Moving drugs across state lines can lead to serious federal drug charges.
Any individual involved in selling illegal drugs can be charged with drug dealing or drug trafficking, based on the amount in question.
Drugs & DUI
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Ohio
The penalties and sentencing guidelines for drug crimes are quite complicated. It will depend on several factors, including the amount and type of the controlled substance.
Here is a guideline of penalties stipulated under Ohio law:
- Minor Misdemeanor: Up to $150, but no jail time
- Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 30 days jail time and fines not exceeding $250
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days jail time and fines not exceeding $500
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 90 days jail time and fines not exceeding $750
- First-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 180 days jail time and fines not exceeding $1,000
- Fifth-Degree Felony: Up to 12 months imprisonment and fines not exceeding $2,500
- Fourth-Degree Felony: Up to 18 months imprisonment and fines not exceeding $5,000
- Third-Degree Felony: Up to 36 months imprisonment and fines not exceeding $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony: At least two years imprisonment and fines not exceeding $15,000
- First-Degree Felony: At least three years imprisonment and fines not exceeding $20,000
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Drug Charges in Ohio
For drug charges, misdemeanors are overall less serious compared to felonies and thus carry lesser penalties. They also range from minor misdemeanors to first-degree misdemeanors, with the first-degree misdemeanors carrying the harshest penalties.
On the other hand, felonies are the most serious offenses and carry the harshest punishments. They are classified by degrees, with first-degree felonies being the most serious. Examples of drug felonies include manufacturing large quantities of a controlled substance, possession of large quantities of illicit drugs, and trafficking across state lines.
Keep in mind that some misdemeanors are automatically elevated to felonies if firearms or children are involved.
Can I Have a Drug Conviction Expunged in Ohio?
Even after serving your sentence and punishment, having a drug conviction on your record can make your life much harder than before. Fortunately, you might be able to have your conviction expunged following a waiting period as outlined below:
- Misdemeanors: one year
- One felony: Three years
- Two felonies: four years
- Three to five felonies: five years
Possible Defenses in Drug Crimes Cases
You could argue that:
- Law enforcement did not have probable cause to search your vehicle, home, etc.
- The drugs weren’t yours in simple possession charges.
- The police trespassed into your property without a warrant.
- The search and seizure warrant came from information obtained from an unreliable source.
- There were inconsistencies or errors in the crime lab analysis.
How Much Will Hiring a Cincinnati Drug Crime Attorney Cost?
The cost to hire a drug crime defense attorney in Ohio varies, as every case is unique. Consulting with an experienced lawyer is the best way to know the true cost. At Patituce & Associates, we design our fee schedule with our client’s best interests at heart. We encourage all our clients to ask all the questions they may have about our fees during the free initial consultation.
Talk to a Cincinnati Drug Crimes Lawyer Today!
If you have been charged with a drug crime, call the criminal defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates at your earliest convenience. Our team will work diligently to ensure that your rights are protected.
Call us today at 513-657-2440 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.