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 Heroin||Charge||Penalty|
|Up to 1 gram||5th degree felony||6-12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines|
|1 to < 5 grams||4th degree felony||6- 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines|
|5 to < 10 grams||3rd degree felony||1-5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines|
|10 to < 50 grams||2nd degree felony||2-8 years in prison and $15,000 in fines|
|50 to <250 grams||1st degree felony||3-10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines|
|250 grams or more||1st degree felony||3-10 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.