As it relates to drug related crimes, the Ohio Revised Code is very specific in how it defines various charges. Common definitions include:
Trafficking in Drugs
This offense is defined as the sale, shipment, transportation, distribution or delivery of any controlled substance. It can carry a fifth, fourth, third, second or first degree felony, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property. Aggravated Trafficking involves certain controlled substances as defined in the Ohio Revised Code. It is important to understand that in Ohio, drug trafficking is not limited to an exchange for cash, but can also include a transfer, gift or barter for a controlled substance.
Drug Trafficking vs. Aggravated Drug Trafficking
Whether or not you’re charged with drug trafficking or aggravated drug trafficking depends on the classification of the controlled substance based on the Ohio Drug Schedule. Aggravated drug trafficking charges include Schedule I and II substances. Aggravated drug trafficking can also be charged if the offense occurs near a school, a juvenile, or a church and carries a harsher penalty.
Illegal Manufacture of Drugs
Manufacturing involves engaging in any part of production of a controlled substance. It carries a possible third, second or first degree felony charge depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property.
Possession of Controlled Substances
Any person who knowingly obtains, possesses or uses a controlled substance can be charged with this offense. This offense can be a misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the fifth, fourth, third, second or first degree, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property. Aggravated Possession of Drugs involves certain controlled substances as defined in the Ohio Revised Code.
Possession of Paraphernalia / Drug Abuse Instruments
Any person who knowingly makes, obtains, possesses or uses any instrument, article or thing that is intended to use or administer a controlled substance, and the thing has been used by the alleged offender. Examples can include hypodermics, syringes, papers, needles, plastic bags, cutting devices, spoons, razors, etc. This offense can be a misdemeanor of the first or second degree.
Felony Drug Possession
The state of Ohio is extremely strict when it comes to enforcement of drug laws and many drug possession cases are commonly charged as felonies, a higher level offense carrying a sentence of potential prison time, huge fines and loss of a drivers license. In some cases, the nature of the controlled substance can warrant a felony charge while some drugs require a specific amount in possession. If you’ve been charged with a felony drug possession you need an experienced attorney who understands the severity of the charges and can help you navigate your defense options.