Drug arrests are common in Cincinnati, but few realize that drug charges vary widely. Many assume that if you are arrested for a drug crime that your fate is sealed. Luckily, this is not the case.
A good defense can go far in avoiding a conviction entirely, but even if the evidence is overwhelming, an experienced and dedicated attorney can highlight various factors to minimize your sentence.
These elements of your case may not excuse illegal behaviors, but they do make your circumstances more easily understood or sympathetic. When present to a judge, prosecutor, or jury, these factors can result in getting the treatment you need, a lighter sentence, or some other outcome that lets you move on with your life.
If you’re facing a drug charge in or around Hamilton County, Ohio, and want to learn more, contact attorney Brad Groene of Luftman, Heck & Associates. He’ll go over your case and explain what factors may apply to you. Call (513) 338-1890 to schedule a free consultation. We’re available 24/7 and ready to help.
The Most Common Mitigating Factors in Drug Cases
When a judge issues a sentence, they may consider any information that reasonably relates to the defendant’s culpability. This includes the objective facts, but also any other information that the judge determines relevant. This could be information related to the character of the defendant or the circumstances of the crime.
While not every detail will sway every judge, there are some common factors that impact sentencing.
Here are the most common mitigating factors in Ohio drug cases.
1. Lack of a Prior Criminal Record
If this is your first offense, the courts will often show leniency if it can be shown that you learned from your mistake and do not plan to commit such a crime again.
If you accept responsibility and show remorse, the judge can take this into consideration. In drug cases, entering treatment can sometimes demonstrate this. Other times, a confession will help, although this can be a risky move that may hurt your defense. It is always best to remain silent until consulting your attorney.
A drug addiction that you are taking steps to deal with can help you get a lesser sentence. Local courts are also aware of the cost of treatment, and when defendants assume that burden rather than the state, it can result in favorable sentences.
4.Physical or Mental Illness
A genuine condition may mitigate your offense. For example, a person with cancer arrested for cultivating personal marijuana may not face serious charges. Similarly, a mentally ill person may not be as responsible for his or her actions.
5.You Had a Minor Role in the Offense
If you had a relatively minor role in the incident in question, you may be treated less harshly. For example, a person who simply held drugs before they were sold without any financial incentive may be punished less harshly for distribution than the people actually involved in selling the drugs.
6.Personal or Situational Circumstances
Other circumstances, such as childhood abuse, stress, or emotional problems may be considered mitigating factors.
7. Your Help in Other Cases
Sometimes helping law enforcement convict people higher up in a criminal organization can help your case. This needs to be negotiated by your lawyer before any evidence is presented.
Always Work with an Experienced Lawyer
Whether or not any of these apply in your case will depend on the unique situation of your arrest, but your lawyer can and will bring up any that they believe will help your case.
Drug cases are nothing to take lightly, as they can be punished harshly. Still, your case may be able to get a better result if handled right.