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Drug Paraphernalia

Every day in central Ohio, people are charged with drug paraphernalia offenses. Drug paraphernalia isn’t restricted simply to items like marijuana pipes or bongs. Ohio law defines drug paraphernalia as anything that’s used in the process of production or consumption of illegal drugs. This could include a scale or balance used to weigh the drug as well as a spoon used to mix crack cocaine, a needle to inject heroin or a grinder to separate stems and seeds from marijuana.

The penalties for drug paraphernalia can range from a fine only up to 30 days in jail. The penalties depend largely on the code section you are charged under and on your prior criminal history.

If you are charged with drug paraphernalia under the Ohio Revised Code, you will be subject to a possible driver’s license suspension. In addition, a drug paraphernalia conviction could disqualify you from student financial aid loans and can also cause licensure issues in some professions.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes a two pronged approach to all drug paraphernalia cases. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police made and what legal issues can be raised on your behalf. Some potential legal issues we look for in every drug paraphernalia case include:

  • Fourth Amendment violations;
  •  Warrants issued without probable cause;
  •  Miranda Rights warnings omitted, abridged or defied by police and prosecutors;
  •  Statements and evidence illegally obtained, or improperly allowed at trial; and
  •  Findings delivered as a result of canine searches (drug-sniffing dogs).
We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery in a drug paraphernalia case will generally consist of a criminal complaint, police reports and additional investigative notes. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

The second approach taken by the Columbus Criminal Defense team is to identify whether you have a substance abuse problem and if there are treatment programs available in lieu of a drug paraphernalia conviction or jail.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients on drug paraphernalia charges. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

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If you’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced drug paraphernalia attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

This is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $250
  • Possible suspension of your driver’s license, with
    • A chance at receiving limited driving privileges, for going to work and other pre-approved purposes, at the judge’s discretion
  • Possible suspension or revocation of your professional license

“Dealing” means selling drug paraphernalia or possessing it with the intent to sell, so that someone can use it with drugs. As long as it’s not being sold to a juvenile, dealing in drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor of the second degree. It carries the following penalties:

  • A jail sentence of up to 90 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $750
  • Possible suspension of your driver’s license, with
    • A chance at receiving limited driving privileges, for going to work and other pre-approved purposes, at the judge’s discretion
  • Possible suspension or revocation of your professional license

This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $1,000
  • Possible suspension of your driver’s license, with
    • A chance at receiving limited driving privileges, for going to work and other pre-approved purposes, at the judge’s discretion
  • Possible suspension or revocation of your professional license
This is a misdemeanor of the second degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of up to 90 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $750
  • Possible suspension of your driver’s license, with
    • A chance at receiving limited driving privileges, for going to work and other pre-approved purposes, at the judge’s discretion
  • Possible suspension or revocation of your professional license
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

It could be. In Ohio, any drug conviction carries a possible driver’s license suspension, even if the person is not driving a car when they are charged with the offense.
Yes. It is up to your judge to decide whether to give you driving privileges during your suspension. Keep in mind, even if your judge grants you driving privileges, they will be limited.
A drug conviction will disqualify you from receiving federal financial aid for college.
If you are eligible and under certain circumstances, you may be able to seal the record of your conviction at a later date.
That depends on the circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on how best to handle the hearing for your professional license suspension/revocation.

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Contact Us

Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com

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FAX: (614) 413-2886