OHIO DRUG POSSESSION LAWS AND PENALTIES
Criminal Defense Lawyer for Fighting Drug Charges in Medina, Wayne and Summit Counties
Ohio has some of the toughest drug possession laws in the country. Residents who have been charged with possession of controlled substances should speak to a criminal defense attorney about the penalties and consequences of a conviction. Consequences may include jail and/or prison, loss or denial of a professional license, and suspension of a license to drive a car or commercial vehicle.
Possession of Controlled Substances in Medina County
Section 2925.11 of the Ohio Revised Code makes it a crime to knowingly obtain, use, or possess a controlled substance. It also prohibits obtaining, using, or possessing a controlled substance analog.
A controlled substance analog is a substance having a chemical structure that is similar to the structure of a prohibited controlled substance. The Ohio law targeting controlled substance analogs is derived from a federal law enacted to assist law enforcement and prosecutors in dealing with the production of synthetic forms of controlled substances.
Schedule I and II Offenses under Section 2925.11 of the Ohio Revised Code
Possession of a schedule I or II compound, mixture, preparation, or substance, other than certain drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, is classified as the crime of aggravated possession of drugs. The severity of the charge and the sentence imposed upon conviction increase as the amount of the drug increases. The charges can range from a felony of the fifth degree for possession of the slightest quantity of a controlled substance to felony of the first degree for possession of large amounts.
Schedule I and II drug possession is punishable by up to 11 years in prison and a fine of $20,000 for conviction of a felony of the first degree down to six to 12 months in jail and/or prison and a $2,500 fine for conviction of a felony of the fifth degree.
Possession of Marijuana in Wadsworth, Medina, and Brunswick
A person in possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana can be charged with a minor misdemeanor. The charges increase in severity as the amount of the drug in a person's possession increases. For example, possession of more than 100 but less than 200 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. The most serious marijuana possession charge is a felony of the second degree for possessing 40,000 grams or more of the drug.
While other states debate the legalization of the use of marijuana for medical or other purposes, Ohio possession law violations are punishable by jail sentences up to six months and fines up to $1,000 for having a small quantity of the drug. Second offenses are charged as a felony of the fifth degree with jail sentences up to 12 months and fines up to $2,500. Possession of larger quantities of marijuana can result in prison sentences of two to eight years and fines up to $15,000.
Possession of Cocaine in Ohio
Cocaine possession is a fifth-degree felony if the amount found on the person is less than five grams. As with other drug possession charges under ORC 2925.11, the seriousness of the charges increases with the amount of the drugs a person possesses. A person in possession of 100 grams or more of cocaine can be charged with a felony of the first degree as a major drug offender.
Possession of cocaine is a serious offense that is punishable by a period of incarceration of six to 12 months and a fine of $2,500 for having less than five grams of the drug. The maximum sentence for cocaine possession as a felony of the first degree is 11 years in prison with a three year minimum period of incarceration and a fine up to $20,000.
Ohio Heroin Possession
Having even the slightest trace of heroin in one's possession in Ohio is a felony of the fifth degree. Individuals with greater quantities of the drug in their possession can be charged with increasing degrees of a felony up to a felony of the first degree.
Judges can sentence a person who is convicted of possession of the slightest amount of heroin to a jail term ranging from six to 12 months and a fine up to $2,500. As the quantity of heroin seized from the person increases, the sentence can include incarceration in state prison for up to 11 years and a fine up to $20,000.
Other Consequences of Controlled Substance Conviction
Ohio residents holding or seeking professional licenses in the state could lose or be denied a license if they are convicted of possession of a controlled substance. Section 2925.38 of the Ohio Revised Code directs that a court notify the appropriate state licensing agency when sentencing someone convicted of violating ORC section 2925.11.
Sentencing judges are authorized by ORC section 2925.11 to suspend the driver's license of anyone convicted of an offense under the statute. The suspension period can be from six months to five years and includes commercial driver's licenses.
Talk to a Wadsworth Criminal Defense Attorney
Possession convictions in Ohio can result in harsh sentences, loss of driving privileges, and loss of the ability to work in one's chosen profession. An attorney from Erb Legal LLC can review the facts of your case and review available options with you. The attorney can explain the affirmative defense offered under the statute that might result in a reduction of charges.
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