Drug Possession

Cincinnati Drug Possession Attorney

Defending Drug Possession Charges in Ohio

Drug possession is the most common drug charge in Ohio. It refers to the illegal possession of controlled substances. The penalties for drug possession in Cincinnati depend on the type and amount of the controlled substance, as well as the circumstances of the arrest and the defendant’s prior criminal record.

At Herzner Law, LLC, we understand the serious nature of drug possession charges and the potential consequences of a conviction. Our Cincinnati drug possession lawyer can help you understand your defense options and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

To schedule a free consultation with our team, contact us online or call (513) 924-4378.

Types of Drug Possession in Ohio

Drug possession charges in Cincinnati fall into one of two main categories: simple possession and possession with intent to distribute.

Simple possession is the possession of drugs for personal use. It is a criminal offense and carries serious penalties.

Possession with intent to distribute refers to the possession of drugs with the intent to sell, trade, or distribute them. It is a more serious crime and comes with harsher penalties.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Ohio?

The penalties for drug possession in Ohio depend on the type of drug and the amount of the drug. The state classifies controlled substances into five different “schedules.” Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous and addictive, while Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous.

The drug schedules in Ohio are as follows:

  • Schedule I: Heroin, LSD, ecstasy, GHB, peyote, etc.
  • Schedule II: Cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, oxycodone, Adderall, Ritalin, etc.
  • Schedule III: Anabolic steroids, ketamine, testosterone, Tylenol with codeine, etc.
  • Schedule IV: Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Ativan, etc.
  • Schedule V: Cough medicine with codeine, Lyrica, Lomotil, etc.

In addition to the drug schedule and the type of drug, the penalties for drug possession in Cincinnati are also influenced by the amount of the drug. The state measures drug amounts in “bulk” or “aggravated” amounts. The specific amount that constitutes a bulk or aggravated amount depends on the drug.

It is important to note that possession of marijuana is a separate offense in Ohio. Marijuana possession charges are generally less serious and carry less severe penalties than other drug possession charges.

Simple possession of most controlled substances is a felony in Ohio. The penalties for simple drug possession are as follows:

  • First-degree felony: Bulk amount (20,000 grams or more) of a Schedule I or II drug (e.g. heroin, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, etc.)
  • Second-degree felony: Bulk amount (40,000 grams or more) of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug (e.g. anabolic steroids, Xanax, Valium, etc.)
  • Third-degree felony: Bulk amount (27 to 199 grams) of a Schedule I or II drug; aggravated amount (1,000 or more grams) of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug
  • Fourth-degree felony: Bulk amount (10 to 26 grams) of a Schedule I or II drug; aggravated amount (200 to 999 grams) of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug
  • Fifth-degree felony: Bulk amount (less than 10 grams) of a Schedule I or II drug; aggravated amount (less than 200 grams) of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug
  • First-degree misdemeanor: Simple amount (less than bulk amount) of any controlled substance

Possession of marijuana is generally a minor misdemeanor. However, if the amount of marijuana is less than 100 grams, it is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. If the amount of marijuana is less than 200 grams, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. And if the amount of marijuana is less than 1,000 grams, it is a fifth-degree felony.

For simple possession of a Schedule I or II drug, the penalties are as follows:

  • First-degree felony: 3 to 11 years in prison and/or $20,000 in fines
  • Second-degree felony: 2 to 8 years in prison and/or $15,000 in fines
  • Third-degree felony: 9 months to 5 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines
  • Fourth-degree felony: 6 to 18 months in prison and/or $5,000 in fines
  • Fifth-degree felony: 6 to 12 months in prison and/or $2,500 in fines
  • First-degree misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and/or $1,000 in fines

Possession of drug paraphernalia is generally a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or $250 in fines. However, if the person has previously been convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia, it is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or $750 in fines.

To learn more about the penalties for drug possession in Cincinnati, contact our firm today.

How to Fight Drug Possession Charges

Drug possession charges can be fought by challenging the evidence, the search and seizure, the lab results, and the prosecutor’s case. The right defense will depend on the specifics of the case and the evidence that the prosecution has. A good criminal defense attorney will be able to review the case and the evidence and develop the best defense strategy.

Here are a few common defenses to drug possession charges:

Unlawful search and seizure: The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If a police officer conducted an illegal search of your home, vehicle, or person, your attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence. If the motion is successful, the evidence will be excluded from your case, and the prosecution will have a much harder time getting a conviction.

Lab errors: The prosecution must prove that the substance that was seized from you was an illegal drug. The substance is typically sent to a lab to be tested. If the lab results are incorrect or inconclusive, your attorney can challenge the lab results and cast doubt on the substance in question.

Constructive possession: Drug possession requires both control and knowledge. If the drugs were not found on your person or in your vehicle or home, your attorney can argue that you did not have control over the drugs. If the drugs were found in a shared space, your attorney can argue that you did not have exclusive control over the drugs. If the prosecution cannot prove that you had control over the drugs, they cannot get a conviction.

Illegal substances: The prosecution must prove that the substance that was seized from you was an illegal drug. If the drug is a prescription drug, your attorney can argue that you had a valid prescription for the drug. If the drug is a controlled substance, your attorney can argue that the substance that was seized from you was not an illegal drug.

Lack of knowledge: Drug possession is an intentional crime. If you did not know that you were in possession of the drugs, your attorney can argue that you did not commit the crime of drug possession. If your attorney can cast doubt on your knowledge of the drugs, they can get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Entrapment: If the police officer who arrested you used entrapment to get you to commit the crime, your attorney can argue that you were entrapped. If your attorney can prove that you were entrapped, they can get your charges dismissed.

Violation of constitutional rights: If the police officer who arrested you violated your constitutional rights, your attorney can argue that the evidence should be excluded from your case. If the evidence is excluded, the prosecution will have a much harder time getting a conviction.

At Herzner Law, LLC, our Cincinnati drug possession lawyer can help you understand your defense options and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed. We will fight to protect your rights and your future.

To schedule a free consultation with our team, contact us online or call (513) 924-4378.

Steps To Take
After Drug Possession

Tailored Service, Tenacious Representation, Strong Results

If you are dealing with a narcotics-related issue, criminal justice attorney Shane Herzner is here to help. Please consider contacting our office in Cincinnati, Ohio for a free consultation today: (513) 924-4378.

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