Cleveland Drug Charges Lawyer
Drug charges can result in serious penalties ranging from expensive fines to court costs and time in prison. If you are facing drug charges in Ohio, you need an experienced Cleveland drug charges lawyer to build a strong defense for your case. You need a lawyer who will fight aggressively to achieve the best possible outcome and protect your rights.
Ohio’s Controlled Substances Schedule
In addition to the federal controlled substances schedule, Ohio also has its own schedule. Drugs are divided into five categories:
- Schedule I: These substances have the highest risk of abuse and no medically accepted use. They include marijuana, LSD, heroin, ecstasy, and other hallucinogenic drugs. Some Schedule I drugs are treated differently than others.
- Schedule II: These substances also have a high risk of abuse or dependency, but they may have medically accepted uses. Drugs in this category include opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, GHB, and many opioids.
- Schedule III: These substances have a moderate risk of abuse, but also have a legitimate medical use. Some painkillers, barbiturates, and anabolic steroids fall into this category.
- Schedule IV: These drugs have medical use and a low risk of abuse. They include depression and anxiety medication.
- Schedule V: These drugs have medical use and the lowest risk of addiction. They include over-the-counter medications and common prescription drugs.
Common Ohio Drug Charges
Some of the most common drug charges in Ohio include:
In the state of Ohio, it is illegal to knowingly possess or obtain a controlled substance unless you:
- Have a prescription for the substance,
- Have a license to prescribe drugs, OR
- You are a manufacturer
ORC Chapter 2925.14 defines drug paraphernalia as any equipment, material, or product used or intended to use for cultivating, manufacturing, processing, preparing, producing, ingesting, packaging, containing, storing, or concealing. Under this law, it is illegal to use, sell or advertise for sale drug paraphernalia.
Ohio law prohibits the sale, transport, delivery, and distribution of controlled substances. Various factors will determine the charges, including the quantity of drugs in possession. Drug trafficking is a serious crime, and it requires the help of an experienced Cleveland drug charges lawyer.
Penalties for a Cleveland Drug Conviction
Although marijuana is considered a Schedule I substance, it is treated differently from other drugs in in this category.
Penalties for marijuana crimes include:
- For less than 100 grams: A misdemeanor in most cases. Penalties include $150 fine in addition to court costs. There is no jail time for this offense.
- For 100-199 grams: A fourth-degree misdemeanor. Penalties include up to 30 days in jail and up to $250 in fines.
- For 200-299 grams: A fifth-degree felony. Penalties include one year in prison and fines up to $2,500.
- For 1,000-4,999 grams: A third-degree felony. Penalties include up to three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Like marijuana, heroin is charged differently than other Schedule I drugs. The amount of heroin will determine the charges:
- For less than 1 gram: A fifth-degree felony. Penalties include 6-12 months in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
- For 1-4 grams: A fourth-degree felony. Penalties include 6-18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- For 5-9 grams: A third-degree felony. Penalties include 9 months to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- For 10-49 grams: A second-degree felony. Penalties include 2-8 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
- For 50-249 grams: A first-degree felony. Penalties include 3-11 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
- Over 250 grams: A first-degree felony. Penalties include mandatory 11-years in prison and fines up to $20,000.
Possession of a scheduled substance can result in harsh penalties.
- Schedule I or II drugs: You may face fifth-degree felony charges.
- Schedule III, IV, or V drugs: You may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor or felony.
Penalties are more significant if you possess large amounts of a drug or if you have a previous drug conviction.
Trafficking is a serious crime with serious consequences. The penalties will depend on the controlled substance being trafficked, the amount being trafficked, and other factors.
- The penalty for trafficking a small amount of marijuana may be charged as a fifth-degree felony and result in 6-12 months in prison.
- Trafficking large amounts of cocaine, on the other hand, can result in up to 11 years in prison and may be charged as a first-degree felony.
A drug trafficking conviction can also result in the loss of your driver’s license and even the loss of your professional license.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The sale, advertisement of sale, or intent to sell drug paraphernalia is a second-degree misdemeanor. If you are selling or intend to sell to minors, the charges are higher and may result in a first-degree misdemeanor.
How a Cleveland Drug Charges Lawyer Can Help
If you’re facing drug charges in Ohio, you need the help of an experienced Cleveland drug charges lawyer. Convictions can result in serious penalties that can follow you for the rest of your life.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you get a drug possession charge dropped?
Fighting to get a drug possession (or any other drug charge) dropped is a process that should not be approached on your own. If you are convicted of drug charges they could leave a permanent stain on your record. An experienced Cleveland drug charges lawyer can look at the particulars of your situation and determine the best ways to fight the charges. Oftentimes they will work to prove that there was some piece of your arrest that was handled incorrectly – such as lack of reasonable suspicion or improper search of your possessions.
Can a felony drug charge be reduced to a misdemeanor in Ohio?
The most serious drug offenses in Ohio will be charged as felonies instead of misdemeanors – generally, felony drug charges involve possession of large amounts of one or multiple substances clearly with the intent to sell or distribute. In some situations, it is possible for an experienced drug charges lawyer to fight for a reduced charge if they are able to prove that the situation was not as serious as originally charged.
How can I defend my drug charges?
Defending drug charges is a serious undertaking and it is not advisable to go about it on your own. Working with an experienced Cleveland drug charges lawyer will give you the best possible defense against your charges. They will be able to comb through the details of your arrest and the ensuing charges in order to come up with the best plan for trying to get your charges reduced or possibly even dropped altogether.
Cleveland, Ohio Drug Charges Attorney Near You
Facing drug charges? If you are unsure of what to do next and need help navigating the complicated Ohio drug offense laws, contact The Botnick Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. Your future is at stake. Call us now to get the help you deserve. An experienced Cleveland drug charges lawyer can help get you through this. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.