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Ohio Drug Possession Charges

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Ohio Drug Possession Charges: Complex and Tough

Recent media reports in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth of voters in other parts of the country going to the polls to legalize the use of marijuana in their states should not be seen as a trend toward the legalization of drugs in Ohio. Although Ohio laws were amended to decriminalize the possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana, you can still be charged with a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $150 and the loss of your driver’s license for anywhere from six months to five years. Obviously, decriminalization is a far cry from legalization.

You should not be lulled into believing that law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth are ignoring drug possession crimes. On the contrary, possession of illegal drugs in Ohio can lead to fines, jail or prison confinement, loss of your driver’s license, and a criminal record that can damage your reputation and prevent you from gaining employment.

Classification of Drugs in Ohio

Ohio drug possession charges in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth are serious and complex violations of the criminal laws. The severity of the charges in Ohio will frequently depend upon the type and amount of drugs found in your possession at the time of your arrest.

The state uses a variation of the federal government’s method of dividing controlled dangerous substances, as illicit drugs are known in Ohio, into five schedules. The most dangerous substances, such as heroin, ecstasy and LSD and the compounds used to make them, are classified in Schedule I. Schedule II substances include those having a high abuse risk such as opium, cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines.

Schedule III drugs have a slightly lower risk of abuse and are considered to be less dangerous than drugs in Schedule II. Schedule III substances include codeine, anabolic steroids, ketamine and hydrocodone.

Schedule IV drugs include those that have medical uses, but are still considered to have a risk of dependency. Drugs on this schedule include tranquilizers and sedatives.

Schedule V drugs have a low dependency risk. These drugs might include over-the-counter medications containing small amounts of codeine.

Bulk Amounts and the Complexity of Ohio Drug Possession Laws

If you are charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance in Medina, Brunswick or Wadsworth, Ohio, you might not understand how police and prosecutors decided on the severity of the charges. Ohio uses a complex method to determine the severity of a drug possession charge and the penalties that may be imposed at sentencing.

Unlike some other states that based the charge on the type and amount of drug that you possessed, Ohio uses bulk amounts for the substances listed in each of the five schedules to determine the severity of the charges and the penalties that you will face. For example, opiate derivatives under Schedule II have a specific bulk amount assigned to them for use in determining the charges and penalties, but cocaine, which is Schedule II substance, has a different bulk amount assigned.

Defense Strategies in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth

A Medina criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about the complexities of Ohio’s drug laws may help to determine if the correct charges have been filed and design a strategy to defend against them. Because many drug possession charges in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth are based upon evidence obtained in a search and seizure by law enforcement, a defense motion to suppress the evidence and prevent or limit its use at trial by the prosecution at trial.

Depending upon the prior criminal history of a person charged with drug possession in Ohio, a defense attorney in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth might be in a position to obtain a reduction of the charges or an agreement for less severe penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. Defense motions and plea bargaining in drug possession cases are crucial.

You Need a Medina Drug Possession Defense Attorney

The stakes can be high in a drug possession prosecution in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth, Ohio. Heavy fines and long prison sentences make it essential for an accused to be represented by an attorney who is as knowledgeable and skilled as the prosecutors and investigators whose job it is to obtain a conviction.

Your rights and freedom are at stake when you are facing Ohio drug possession charges. If you have questions or concerns about the charges and the evidence against you, contact Erb Legal LLC today at 330-368-4499 to schedule a consultation.

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