Drug Possession – Heroin

Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and drugs of this nature are treated as very serious matters in the Ohio criminal justice system. If you are charged with possessing even a little bit of heroin, you can face felony penalties and a permanent criminal record. Fortunately, you have options and you may be able to avoid the worst of these penalties.

Classified as a Schedule I drug, heroin is considered one of the most dangerous. Obviously, this means it will be treated as a more serious matter by the police and the courts. You are facing prison time, fines, and the designation as a convicted felon and you’re no doubt under a significant amount of stress.


Contrary to what many people think, you don’t have to have drugs on you to be charged with possession. Instead, the drugs merely have to be within your control. In other words, if the drugs are found on your property or even close to you, they can be considered legally yours.

Ohio Heroin Possession – Laws & Penalties

As with other drugs, the more you are accused of possessing, the greater your potential penalty. The table below represents the maximum potential penalty you can face for possessing specific amounts of heroin.

Amount of HeroinChargePenalty
Up to 1 gram5th degree felony6-12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines
1 to < 5 grams4th degree felony6- 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines
5 to < 10 grams3rd degree felony1-5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines
10 to < 50 grams2nd degree felony2-8 years in prison and $15,000 in fines
50 to <250 grams1st degree felony3-10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines
250 grams or more1st degree felony3-10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines

If you are accused of possessing a large amount of heroin, you could be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence. This means the sentence cannot be suspended and you cannot serve probation or parole for a portion of it.

Ohio Heroin Possession – Sentencing Alternatives

Not all heroin possession cases result in a prison term. This is partially because most cases end in a plea agreement. Oftentimes, you can avoid the most serious of penalties by admitting guilt and bargaining with the prosecution for a lenient sentence. You may end up serving a shorter sentence in the county jail, or probation instead.

The state of Ohio also has drug courts that serve as an alternative to the traditional criminal courts. These courts require defendants to go through a period of intense supervision, much like a very intense probation under the watchful eye of the court. Participants are required to take part in treatment and other rehabilitative programs in order to succeed.

Consulting with a local defense attorney about the facts of your case may open up additional alternatives and options. Call  today for a free legal consultation on your case.

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