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Drugs Possession

Every day in central Ohio, people are arrested on drug possession charges ranging from marijuana and cocaine to heroin and ecstasy. The penalties for drug possession can range from a fine only, to a mandatory prison term. The penalties depend largely on the type of drug you are alleged to have possessed and the quantity of that drug.

If you are charged with drug possession under the Ohio Revised Code, you will be subject to a possible driver’s license suspension. In addition, a drug possession 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 possession 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 possession case include:

  • Fourth Amendment violations;
  • Warrants issued without probable cause;
  • Wiretapping and other illegal surveillance;
  • 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).
  • Lab analysis issues

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes and a lab analysis of the drug. 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 jail or prison.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients on drug possession charges ranging from minor misdemeanors to first degree felony drug possession. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

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Are you in trouble? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with possession of drugs, 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 attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

Possession of any Schedule I or II drug besides marijuana is automatically a felony. For marijuana, the amount must be more than 199 grams to be charged as a felon. Felony drug possession has much harsher penalties associated with it than misdemeanor drug possession, including fines as high as $20,000 and a prison term as long as 10 years. In light of this fact, it’s of utmost importance that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to chart out your best course of action.
In order to be charged with aggravated possession of drugs, you must have on your person a Schedule I or II drug other than marijuana, spice, cocaine, LSD, heroin or hashish. Penalties for aggravated possession of drugs are doled out according to the “bulk amount” of the drug you were charged for. This differs by drug.
This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six months to a year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • 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 felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A probable prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • 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 felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of three to 10 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of 10 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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

Marijuana

Though this is a minor misdemeanor, it will not appear on your permanent record. It carries the following penalties:

  • At most, a fine of $150
  • 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 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

This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A jail sentence of six months to a year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • 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 felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of nine months to three years
  • A fine ranging from $5,000 to $10,000
  • 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 felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine ranging from $5,000 to $10,000
  • 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 felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of five to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • 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 felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • 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

Cocaine

This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six months to a year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • 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 felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
  • 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 felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • 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 felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree, and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of three to 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree, and if convicted, you will be considered a major drug offender. It carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of 11 years
  • A fine ranging from $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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

Heroin

This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of six months to a year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • 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 felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • 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 felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree, and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of three to 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree, and if convicted, you will be considered a major drug offender. It carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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

Crystal Meth

This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six months to a year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • 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 felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • 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 felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of three to 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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 felony of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory prison term of 11 years
  • A fine of $10,000 to $20,000
  • 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
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

Not necessarily. You could qualify for “constructive possession” if you were aware the drug was in your vicinity, you knew it was illegal and it was close enough to you that someone could reasonably assume it was yours. If you are in a situation like this, it’s important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to see what kinds of defenses are available to you.
Generally, a criminal defense attorney will first look to see whether your right to be protected against illegal search and seizure was violated in any way during the incident. Officers must have probable cause before stopping you to commit a search. Any violation in protocol has the potential to help your case.
Nope! Your driver’s license (and possibly your professional license) may still be suspended, however, and you’ll have to pay a fine of up to $150.

Get In Touch

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