The law has a firm stance on drug possession in Ohio. A drug possession conviction could lead to a lengthy prison sentence and huge fines, and you could face other consequences including probation, a requirement to take regular drug tests, and mandatory substance abuse treatment.
You need the best Cincinnati drug possession lawyer to defend you. At Patituce & Associates, our experienced team of criminal lawyers can help you avoid having the charge define the rest of your life. We will fight to help you avoid a conviction or secure a reduced sentence.
Ohio Drug Possession Offenses
Under Ohio’s drug possession law, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the amount and type of drugs you’re caught with.
Drug possession misdemeanors are generally considered less serious than felonies and generally carry milder punishments. Misdemeanors include possessing under 100 grams of marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia.
These are the most serious drug possession offenses. In Ohio, possession of any Schedule I or II drugs is automatically classified as a felony. Possession of over 100 grams of marijuana is a felony.
Some misdemeanors can also be elevated to felonies where children or firearms are involved.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Ohio
The penalties for possession of controlled substances will depend on a lot of factors such as the amount and type of substance. For instance, possession will be punished more severely if it involves Schedule I and Schedule II controlled substances.
The penalties will also depend on how much of the substance you are accused of possessing. Some Controlled substances like LSD, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine are measured by weight. Other drugs are measured through what Ohio drug laws refer to as a bulk amount.
Every controlled substance is assigned a bulk amount based on the statute. The penalties will depend on whether the accused was in possession of more or less of the bulk amount.
Possession is not regarded as a crime if the person has a valid prescription for the controlled substance. Schedule III, IV, and V controlled substances have accepted medical uses. However, possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription can lead to misdemeanor or felony possession charges.
How Does Ohio Classify Controlled Substances?
Ohio drug laws follow federal drug schedule classifications of controlled substances as outlined below.
Schedule I drugs are those with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical uses. Examples include LSD, heroin, and marijuana. The Ohio legislature has enacted laws to provide for medical marijuana use with an approved license.
These are drugs with a high potential for abuse, with limited accepted medical uses. They are generally considered dangerous, with the potential for severe physical and mental dependence. They include oxycodone, methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl.
Schedules III, IV, & V
Schedule III drugs are those with low to moderate potential for dependence or abuse and have accepted medical uses. They include anabolic steroids and ketamine.
Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for dependence or abuse, and have known medical uses. Examples include Valium, Xanax, and Ambien.
Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse and have common medical uses. Cough suppressants and antidiarrheal medicines are good examples.
What Are Common Defenses Against Drug Possession Charges?
Possession charges can be a lot more complicated than they appear. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must present sufficient evidence. We can argue the following to defend your future.
- The drugs did not belong to you and were not truly in your possession.
- You were not aware of the drugs and were not exercising any control over them.
- The arresting officers violated your rights when charging or arresting you.
- Evidence was obtained via illegal search and seizure.
- You were in possession of a valid prescription for the drugs found on you.
The prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly held into an illegal substance. Working with an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorney can make it a lot harder for the prosecution by building a strong defense to help you avoid conviction.