Being charged with possession of a controlled substance in Ohio can be frightening no matter what type of substance it is. If this is your first exposure to the criminal justice system you are likely nervous about what will happen when you go before the judge.
You might feel as if you have already been judged or you may be worried about your chance at a fair trial. By retaining a qualified and experienced attorney you can rest assured that your interests will be looked after.
There may be a perfectly good explanation as to why you were caught with drugs, such as the drugs were not yours. And it is possible that you made a mistake, have a substance abuse problem, or have simply been going through a difficult time in your life. Whatever the case, we are here to help. We want to hear about your case from you.
Ohio/Federal Drug Classifications (Schedules)
The Federal government classifies drugs by “schedule”. This classification system is used to determine the seriousness of your offense and the potential sentence you may be facing. Ohio adopted these schedules and made slight adjustments under state law.
Schedule I drugs include those that are the most dangerous and have a high risk of addiction or dependency and no legitimate medical use. Drugs included under this heading include LSD, marijuana, heroin, GHB, and ecstasy.
Schedule III drugs are slightly less dangerous than Schedule II substances, but still have a moderate risk of abuse. Schedule III substances include hydrocodone, codeine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine, and some depressants.
Schedule IV drugs have a slight risk of dependency and have very acceptable medical uses. Some Schedule IV drugs are clonazepam, some tranquilizers, and sedatives.
Schedule V substances have a very low risk of dependency and include things like over the counter medication with Codeine.
How you are charged depends mostly on a) what controlled substance is involved and, b) the amount you had in your possession. However, Ohio drug laws are extremely complex and you should always consult with an attorney about the specifics of your situation.
Each controlled substance is categorized under Ohio law as having a “bulk amount”. Each drug has a different bulk amount that dictates the charge and potential sentence that goes with each violation.
For instance, the bulk amount of cocaine is different than the bulk amount of a Schedule II opiate derivative which is different than the bulk amount of Schedule III opiate derivative. Because of all of the complex categories, it is nearly impossible to present a simple summary or chart showing you what type of sentence you may be facing.
For marijuana possession charges, see my marijuana penalties page.
Ref: ORC 2925.01
Ohio Drug Possession Defense Strategies
Drug possession charges can be challenged and beaten in court with a variety of legal strategies, including motions to suppress on grounds of illegal search, and a host of other options depending on the facts of your particular case.
We can also argue for reduction of charges, and work out deals for minimal penalties for lesser amounts of drugs. If you have a relatively clean criminal history you may be eligible to serve your sentence while on probation or even get pre-trial diversion for your offense.
This means that Ohio can be lenient on first offense controlled substance charges. We can argue that as a minor drug offender, it makes sense to get treatment and rehabilitation instead of sentences of jail. Many courts are agreeable to that argument in less serious cases.
We can talk about the options available to you in a free consultation.
Call today to let us know about the charges you are facing. Once we know the circumstances and specifics regarding your drug charges, we can give you a very good indication of what we can do to beat the case, and the type of sentence you may be facing or if you may be eligible for any alternatives to incarceration.
Don’t give up hope, there are always options. Call us today to let us help you find the best possible outcome to your case.