Drug Possession Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH
If you happen to be charged or investigated for possession, you should consult with an experienced Cincinnati drug possession lawyer immediately. If you are a family member or a loved one, you are also welcome to reach out on behalf of someone being held in police custody.
Why? Because every second matters. Every conversation or interaction with law enforcement matters. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we know that your future and your rights are at stake. Don’t delay on protecting yourself from the State’s charges and penalties.
Defining Possession of a Controlled Substance
Though it is one of the more common drug offenses we see on a regular basis here in Ohio, possession of a controlled substance is a serious criminal charge that has vast implications if you’re convicted.
Under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2925.11, it is defined as knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance. Drugs that are considered to be controlled substances include prescription medications, medications without a prescription, illegal drugs, natural substances, and chemicals.
Schedule of Controlled Substances
One of the first things you should know about drug charges is that they are divided into schedules, which are determined based on risk of addiction, potential danger, and dependency, as well as whether they have been determined to have medical value.
Ohio’s schedule of controlled substances is addressed in ORC 3719.41, but it falls in line with what the Drug Enforcement Agency has put forth as its schedule of drugs.
Substances that have a high risk of addiction and abuse and no medical value. Examples include marijuana, LSD, heroin, ecstasy, and hallucinogens.
Substances that have a high risk for abuse, addiction and dependency but have limited recognized medical uses. Examples include GHB, morphone, oxycodone, methadone, codeine, opium, cocaine, methamphetamines, and some hallucinogenic substances.
Substances that have a moderate risk of abuse, addiction and dependency, but also are accepted for medical purposes. Examples include anabolic steroids, hydrocodone, testosterone, ketamine, barbituric acid, and some stimulants depressants.
Substances that have a slight risk of dependency and have known, acceptable medical uses. Examples include Xanax, Valium, clonazepam, some narcotics, depressants, and sedatives.
Substances that have a very low risk of addiction, abuse and dependency and are commonly used for medical purposes. Examples include some stimulants and medications with small amounts of narcotics.
Ohio Possession of Controlled Substances Breakdown
Penalties for Possession of Controlled Substances are dependent on numerous factors. One of those factors is the schedule of substance you possess.
Possession of Schedule I or II substance
less than the bulk amount – fifth degree felony with at least 6 months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines
Possession of Schedule III, IV, V substance
less than the bulk amount – first degree misdemeanor with a maximum of 60 days in jail and $1,000 in fines
Controlled substances in Ohio are further categorized into bulk amounts, which are then used to determine what charge and penalties an individual will face. A bulk amount is 10 grams or more of a substance, or 25-unit doses of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that contains any Schedule I opiate, opium derivative, or cocaine (ORC 2925.01).
Factors That Determine Penalties
There’s a possibility that you will be charged not only at the state level but also at the federal level. In Ohio, a possession conviction’s penalties are dependent on the facts and circumstances of your case. These could include factors like the amount of substance you possessed, the type of substance, where the offense occurred, and more.
Possession of Controlled Substances Penalties
Schedule I and II Controlled Substances Penalties
If you are convicted for possessing a Schedule I or II controlled substance, this is considered an aggravated possession of a controlled substance. The specific penalties will be based on the amount of the controlled substance that you possessed.
- If you are found to possess less than the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you may be charged with a fifth-degree felony. If convicted, you face up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
- If you are found to possess the bulk amount but less than five times the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you may be charged with a third-degree felony. If convicted, you face up to three (3) years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- If you are found to possess five times the bulk amount but less than 50 times the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you may be charged with a second-degree felony. This comes with penalties of up to eight (8) years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
- If you are found to possess 50 times the bulk amount of a controlled substance but less than 100 times the bulk amount, you will likely be charged with a first-degree felony. This is punishable by up to 11 years in prison and fines up to $20,000 if convicted.
- If you are found to possess 100 times or more than the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you will be charged with a first-degree felony. You face at minimum 11 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines if convicted.
Schedule III, IV, and V Controlled Substances Penalties
Below are the penalties you face if convicted of a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance.
- If you are found to possess less than the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you will likely be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. For a first offense, you face up to 60 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. For second, third, and subsequent offenses, you will be charged with a fifth-degree felony; the penalties if convicted include up to one (1) year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
- If you are found to possess the bulk amount but less than 5 times the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you will likely be charged with a fourth-degree felony. If convicted, you face up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- If you are found to possess five times the bulk amount but less than 50 times the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you will likely be charged with a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of this offense, you face up to three (3) years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- If you are found to possess at least 50 times the bulk amount of a controlled substance, you will likely be charged with a second-degree felony. If convicted, you are looking at up to eight (8) years in prison in addition to fines of up to $15,000.
Ohio drug laws are complex and nuanced, so it’s important to have a Cincinnati defense lawyer on your side.
The additional consequences if convicted of a drug crime are:
- Suspension of driving privileges
- Trouble maintaining or finding employment
- Trouble obtaining a mortgage
- Difficulty passing background checks
- Possible loss of custodial rights
Defending Possession of Controlled Substances Charges
Regardless of what the facts and circumstances of your case are, there are defenses for drug possession that can be raised on your behalf. Cincinnati felony drug possession lawyer Brad Groene will take the time to examine what legal strategies are most appropriate in defending your case.
Factors to Consider in Your Case
The following are a list of factors that are taken into consideration in determining whether there were any errors made in your case:
- Whether there were any search warrants issued without probable cause
- Whether an illegal search was conducted
- Whether your Fourth Amendment rights were violated
- Whether illegal forms of surveillance were involved
- Whether your Miranda Rights were read in their entirety
- Whether any evidence was illegally obtained
- Whether lab results and analysis were handled properly
If you are facing your first conviction of felony drug possession in Ohio, the court may be more lenient with your sentence. The Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys will do everything in their power to argue for a reduction in your charges and minimizing your penalties.
Contact a Cincinnati Drug Possession Lawyer Today
Ohio’s drug laws are complicated, and the prosecution does not go easy on these types of cases. To protect your rights and interests, call the experienced Cincinnati drug crime attorneys with LHA today.
Attorney Brad Groene has years of experience handling drug cases in this region and would be happy to discuss how he can help in a free legal consultation. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (513) 338-1890 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.