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Under Ohio Rev. Code 2925.041, if you knowingly gather one or more of the chemicals needed to create a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance, you may be charged with the illegal assembly of drugs. It’s enough under the statute that you assemble one of the chemicals — you don’t need the entire set of chemicals necessary to make the drug. As long as you knowingly assemble one of the components, and have the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, you can be charged with illegal assembly of drugs.
If you’ve been charged with illegal assembly of drugs, you face a serious felony offense. If you’re convicted, you could spend months or years in prison, depending on where the offense was committed, what chemicals were involved, and whether you have prior drug convictions. You may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines, and you may lose your driver’s license.
However, an experienced drug defense lawyer may be able to help you through this stressful and troubling legal situation. There may be ways that a criminal defense lawyer can help you fight the charge and try to get it dismissed, or try to improve your outcome so that you face penalties that are less severe.
Illegal assembly of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug other than methamphetamine is a third-degree felony in Ohio. The penalties may include a sentence of 9 to 36 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
When the illegal assembly of drugs offense is committed near a school or a juvenile, the offense is a second-degree felony and may be punished with a sentence of 2 to 8 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Under Ohio Rev. Code 2925.01, committing an offense in the vicinity of a school means committing it on school premises, in school building, or within 1,000 feet of school premises — even if you’re not aware that you’re that you’re on or near school premises.
Ohio law looks even more harshly on the assembly of chemicals that can be used to make methamphetamine. It’s still a third-degree felony under Ohio Rev. Code 2925.041 to assemble the chemicals used to make meth, but there is a presumption that you will serve prison time in the range of 9 to 36 months. If you have two or more prior felony drug abuse convictions, and one of them was for possession or assembly of chemicals to manufacture drugs, then an additional conviction for assembling the chemicals to make meth carries a mandatory sentence of at least 5 years.
Ohio law provides that when you’re convicted of illegal assembly of drugs a court may suspend or revoke your driver’s license. The suspension or revocation also applies when you hold a commercial driver’s license, which can affect your livelihood if you need a CDL for your job or to earn a living.
A conviction also will result in a permanent criminal record as a felony drug offender. That can have many effects on your life beyond the prospect of prison time, fines, and loss of your driving privileges.
To convict you of illegal assembly of drugs, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
If the prosecutor is unable to prove any one of those things, your defense lawyer may be able to get your charge dismissed or reduced. Your lawyer may have a good chance at fighting the charge when:
Your Columbus drug attorney also may have a good chance at fighting your charge if the police violated your rights while conducting their investigation, collecting evidence, searching you or your property, or conducting your arrest. When one of those happens, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to get evidence suppressed, which in turn may result in your case being dismissed or your charge reduced. Some common procedural errors that may aid your defense include:
However, every case has its own unique blend of facts, evidence, and circumstances. An experienced Columbus drug attorney can help you understand what options might be available to you in your individual case.
If you have been charged with illegal assembly or you suspect you’re being investigated for it, you need the best defense possible to avoid life-changing penalties and consequences. Please contact us at or email@example.com for a free consultation with a Columbus drug attorney.