Drug crimes in Ohio can include a variety of offenses that range from misdemeanors to felony charges. As a result, punishments can vary from minimal sentences and fines to mandatory prison sentences. Felony drug convictions can also result in a loss of driver’s license, denial of the right to vote and the inability to maintain or obtain professional positions, such as the healthcare industry, aviation or in public office positions. Drug offenses can also be charged as federal offenses under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Federal drug charges usually result in more serious penalties and consequences than Ohio drug charges. If you’ve been charged with a drug related offense, you need an attorney who understands exactly what is being alleged in order to provide a proper and aggressive defense strategy.
Drug Charges Overview
Chapter 2925 of the Ohio Revised Code lists multiple elements that may be contained in your drug charge. These most commonly includes: possession, assembly, trafficking, manufacturing, and administration or distribution. Each charge carries its own definition and requirement of proof along with a misdemeanor or felony charge with it. The severity of the charge and corresponding penalty is based on the classification of the controlled substance by the Ohio Drug Schedule as well as the amount of the controlled substance in question. It is imperative your attorney understand the specifics of your case in order to properly understand your charges and create the best defense strategy.
Defense Strategy Against Drug Charges
Our experienced team at the Wiecszorek Law Firm understands the specific regulations law enforcement officials must adhere to when arresting an alleged offender. We’ll work with you to identify if those procedures were properly conducted. If they were not, we may be able to reduce your charges, penalties, or both. These factors include:
1. How the evidence was obtained
2. How lab results and analysis were handled
3. The use of illegal forms of surveillance
4. Conducting an illegal search
5. Search warrants issued without probable cause
6. A violation of your Fourth Amendment rights
Understanding How Drug Charges Are Classified
Ohio Revised Code §3719.41 creates five schedules for illegal drugs. The classification of certain controlled substances are ranked according to the severity of the abuse potential and can impact the nature of the charges you may be facing.
Controlled substances with the highest potential for abuse and no known or rarely accepted medical purpose including 3 and 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or Ecstasy), substituted cathinones (“bath salts”), heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), phencyclidine (PCP), and psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”).
Controlled substances with high potential for abuse, but may have limited medical applications including Adderall®, cocaine, codeine, gamma-hydroxy-butyric acid (GHB or Date Rape Drug), hydrocodone, methadone, methamphetamines, morphine, opium, oxycodone (OxyContin® or Percocet®), and oxymorphone.
Controlled substances with lower potential for abuse and may be used for medical purposes including anabolic steroids, ketamine (Special K), lysergic acid, and testosterone.
Controlled substances with lower potential for abuse and may be commonly used for medical applications including alprazolam (Xanax®), batrbital, diazepam (Valium®), and zolpidem (Ambien®).
Controlled substances with least potential for abuse and may be commonly used for medical applications including narcotic drugs containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams, not more than 100 milligrams of dihydrocodeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams, not more than 100 milligrams of ethylmorphine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams, not more than 2.5 milligrams of diphenoxylate and not less than 25 micrograms of atropine sulfate per dosage unit, not more than 100 milligrams of opium per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams, or not more than 0.5 milligram of difenoxin and not less than 25 micrograms of atropine sulfate per dosage unit.