Selling or trafficking drugs is a serious criminal offense that can result in significant penalties, including years in prison. However, if you or a loved one was arrested for trafficking, possession with intent to distribute, or another crime related to selling illegal drugs in Ohio, you have options that can improve your circumstances.
While contacting an experienced drug trafficking lawyer should be your first step, here are some things that can improve your situation if you or a loved one are charged with selling drugs.
Charges for Selling Drugs in Columbus, Ohio
Criminal charges for selling drugs are imposed when a person intends to sell or actually sells an illegal controlled substance, such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin, crack, or meth.
These charges may also be assessed if you illegally sell prescription drugs to people who should not be in possession of those medications. Even giving, transferring, or bartering a controlled substance may result in charges. Remember, money does not have to be exchanged for someone to be charged with selling drugs.
Ohio Drug Dealing Charges & Penalties
Various drug charges may apply if someone is accused of selling or attempting to sell illicit drugs. According to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, the level of offense and penalties may increase depending on the amount of drugs present and their location.
The Different Drug Dealing Crimes
- Drug Trafficking – Activities surrounding the sale of drugs, including preparing drugs for shipment, transporting them, and delivering them
- Possession with Intent to Distribute – Preparing drugs for sale or knowing a controlled substance is intended for sale or resale by another person
- Drug Possession – Knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance
- Assembly or Possession of Chemicals – Knowingly possessing chemicals or tools to make illegal substances (this typically refers to methamphetamine)
- Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation – Making or growing controlled substances like marijuana.
Some of these crimes, such as simple lower-level drug possession, may be an option in a plea agreement if you are charged with drug trafficking. For example, your attorney may be able to get your charges reduced to one of these lesser included offenses so that your penalties are not as harsh, or you may qualify for alternative punishments like drug treatment programs.
What to Do If You’re Arrested for Selling Drugs
Being arrested for selling drugs in Columbus can be scary. You may not know what to do or how to react. It is natural to want to avoid the situation altogether and refuse to cooperate with the police. However, you should always remain calm and cooperative.
But that does not mean you should answer questions or talk to them about your charges. Instead, invoke your right to remain silent and contact a lawyer immediately. This will avoid making things worse.
You can also begin gathering evidence and information about your charges. Write everything down and ask your friends or family to take pictures if they can. For example, if they have access to the location where you allegedly sold drugs, they should take photos of your house, car, or street location. This can help your attorney become prepared with defense strategies.
Ways to Get Drug Selling Charges Reduced or Dropped
A drug dealing charge does not mean you will be convicted. There are ways you can improve your situation and get your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Some of the tactics you can use to improve your situation include:
- Remaining silent and not answering questions from the police
- Cooperating with the police
- Staying calm throughout the arrest and court process
- Challenging all of the evidence that is presented
- Collecting your own evidence
- Hiring an independent investigator
- Talking to friendly witnesses
- Taking pictures and videos of key locations
- Attending a drug treatment program
- Participating in a therapy program
- Hiring a drug trafficking lawyer
Defending Against Drug Crime Charges
There are certain defenses that effective drug lawyers often use for their clients. The best criminal defense attorneys use multiple defense strategies at once.
Challenge the Evidence
You can challenge all evidence presented by the prosecution. That includes why the cops stopped you or searched your home through statements by experts. If the evidence against you was obtained illegally, it might not be admissible in court. Without crucial evidence, the prosecutor may have to drop your charges altogether.
Unlawful Actions by the Police
You may be able to make arguments like unlawful search and seizure or entrapment. These are tactics used by police officers to get charges against a person who did not commit a crime. Your attorney will review your case and see if the facts fit these arguments.
The Drugs Weren’t Yours
If the drugs you are accused of having were someone else’s, you might be able to claim that you weren’t aware of the drugs. You may have been in the “wrong place at the wrong time.” You shouldn’t be convicted if you weren’t knowingly involved in the crime.
Drugs Weren’t Analyzed Correctly in the Lab
A certified laboratory should analyze all drugs collected by the police for cases. You can challenge the accuracy of the tests due to defective equipment or even the person who performed the tests. Lab equipment breaks and can inaccurately weigh substances or identify drugs improperly.
Contact a Defense Lawyer ASAP
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug trafficking or an offense related to selling illegal drugs in Columbus, Ohio, you should reach out to a lawyer who has the experience to help you avoid the harshest charges. The Luftman, Heck & Associates drug defense team is ready to listen to your story and guide you.