Because Ohio has some of the highest rates of drug overdose and drug-related deaths in the nation, their narcotics laws are some of the most stringent and complex. Based on whether you knowingly bought, possessed or are using a controlled substance, you could look at consequences ranging from hefty fines to jail or prison time. Various types of drugs are categorized into “schedules,” which determine the penalties.
Ohio’s narcotics statutes
Drug possession and controlled substance schedules can be found in the Ohio Revised Code. Drug possession is governed by Section 2925.11, and the controlled substance schedules are in Section 3719.41.
The schedules range from Schedule I and II, which include many narcotics and opiates, to III, IV and V, which are typically less severe but still controlled substances. Should you be found in possession of Schedule I or II drugs (with limited exceptions, such as marijuana, hallucinogens and cocaine), you will be found guilty of aggravated possession.
Possession of Schedule III, IV and V drugs comes with a simple drug possession charge.
Penalties and sentencing for Ohio drug violations
The drug laws in Ohio also have a “bulk amount” formula that’s designed to determine the type of charge and seriousness of the penalty you might face. If you have less than the “bulk amount” for that particular drug, you are looking at a misdemeanor. First-time misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 (or both). If it’s a second or subsequent offense, the penalties start at a minimum of six months of jail time, a fine of up to $2,500 and a fifth-degree felony conviction.
If you are found to have more than the bulk amount (but less than five times the bulk amount), the penalties soar to at least nine months in jail and $5,000 in fines.
You might also be subject to the loss of your driver’s license, probation and diversion therapy. Depending on whether you were charged with related offenses, this can increase your penalties.
Defenses to narcotics charges in Ohio
If you’ve been caught with and charged with possession of a controlled substance, don’t panic. A skilled narcotics defense attorney will be able to help you prepare a defense. Defenses can include those such as: you were never knowingly in possession of the controlled substance, you didn’t know it was a controlled substance, it was in fact not a controlled substance, entrapment, Fourth Amendment violations or a medical marijuana exception.
Hire an attorney in Cincinnati, OH
If you’re in the Cincinnati, OH area and have been accused under Ohio’s drug laws, hire an experienced attorney at once. Herzner Law, LLC is a trusted defense firm in Cincinnati that can help you no matter what charges you may be facing. With years of experience on both prosecution and defense, we can help you with everything from simple charges to complex defenses. Call us today to find out how a skilled lawyer can help your case reach a successful resolution.
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