Even though our attitudes toward drug use and abuse are changing, drug crimes are still taken very seriously. If convicted, you could be sentenced to years in prison and forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines. In addition, you will have a permanent drug charge on your criminal record, making it difficult to get a job, find a place to live, or even qualify for certain public benefits.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Ohio, the criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help. We use our experience, knowledge, and skill to provide people in an aggressive legal defense. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case, contact us today at (614) 500-3836.
Drug Offenses in Ohio
Ohio law criminalizes a number of drug activities, and charges these offenses at either the misdemeanors or felony level. Such crimes include:
- Drug trafficking
- Drug cultivation and manufacturing
- Corrupting another with drugs
Generally speaking, the penalties you face are based on the type and quantity of the drug involved. Some drug charges carry a fine and, at most – a year in jail. A conviction for a felony will likely result in years in prison and heavy fines. In addition to statutory penalties, a drug crime conviction can bring about a host of collateral consequences, including employment issues, custody problems, and more.
Many possession charges are misdemeanors. However, if you were arrested in possession with a Schedule I or Schedule II drug (besides marijuana, spice, cocaine, LSD, heroin, or hashish), you could be charged with aggravated possession, which is a felony under Ohio law. For less than the bulk amount, you will be charged with a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to 12 months in prison, and $2,500 in fines. The bulk amount will vary according to the type of controlled substance, but if you possess five to 49 times that amount, you could face second-degree felony charges. This means that if you are convicted, you could face two to eight years in prison, and fines reaching $15,000.
You can be charged with drug trafficking for any attempt to sell or offer to sell drugs. As with possession, the penalties you face will depend on the type and amount of drugs involved in the offense. If you attempt to sell Schedule III, IV, or V drugs, the basic charge is a fifth-degree felony. Such an offense is punishable with up to a year in prison, and a $2,500 fine. However, the penalties get more severe as the quantity of drugs increases:
- Five to 50 times the bulk amount – This is a third-degree felony that can be punished with up to 36 months in prison, and fines reaching $10,000. If the offense was committed near a school, however, the prison term for this second-degree felony can reach eight years, and the fines increase to $15,000.
- 50 times the bulk amount (or greater) – This is a second-degree felony. When the offense was committed near a minor or a school, it’s increased to a first-degree felony that is punishable by three to 11 years in prison, and possible fines of up to $20,000.
If you attempt to sell Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, you can be charged with aggravated drug trafficking, a fourth-degree felony that is punishable by six to 18 months in prison, and fines reaching $5,000. These penalties only increase as the amount of drugs in question increases.
Manufacturing drugs is a felony in Ohio. For Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, you face second-degree felony charges upon conviction. For Schedule III, IV, and V substances, manufacturing is a third-degree felony, elevated to a second-degree felony offense if manufactured near juveniles.
Corrupting Another with Drugs
Corrupting another with drugs is charged under the following circumstances:
- You forced another person to take drugs
- You caused serious harm to another by administering drugs
- You provided a minor with drugs
- You used a minor as an accomplice in the sale of drugs
If you are charged with this offense, you face second-degree felony penalties.
Contact a Columbus Drug Crimes Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with drug crimes in Ohio, you don’t have to face your case alone. The best thing you can do is get someone on your side who will fight for your rights. Reach out to the criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates for dedicated, aggressive legal representation. Contact us at (614) 500-3836 today to schedule a free, initial consultation of your case.