Drug Crimes

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your drug offense case.

Types of Drug Offenses in Ohio

The range of drug crimes in Ohio is quite broad, ranging from misdemeanors with small fines and no jail time to felonies with serious consequences. Drug convictions can not only result in significant prison terms and fines, but the loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote, driver’s license suspensions, difficulty securing employment, particularly in the healthcare industry and government, and the inability to obtain student loans. The following are commonly charged drug offenses in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio:

Don’t become a victim to the government’s war on drugs. It is important that you hire a Columbus or Delaware, Ohio drug defense attorney immediately if you are charged with a drug offense. Your criminal drug defense attorney will be able to attempt to put forth a strong defense and, in the event that you are convicted, mitigate the consequences and achieve the best outcome.

Ohio Drug Offense Statutes and Definitions

Chapter 2925 of the Ohio Revised Code governs drug offenses in Ohio. The following is a list of common drug offenses in Ohio and their statutory definitions:

Drug Possession

Drug possession is defined under ORC 2925.11(A) as knowingly obtaining, possessing or using a controlled substance or controlled substance analog. A person must have actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance in order to be charged with drug possession in Ohio. This offense, depending upon the type and amount of the drug, can range from a minor misdemeanor, which carries only a $150 fine and no jail time, to a 1st degree felony with mandatory prison terms and significant fines.

Possession of Marijuana

Possession of marijuana is defined under ORC 2925.11 as knowingly obtaining, possessing or using marijuana. The person must have actual knowledge or a reasonable belief, combined with actual or constructive possession of marijuana, to be guilty of possession of marijuana. This offense, depending upon the amount of the drug, can range from a minor misdemeanor, which carries only a $150 fine and no jail time, to a 2nd degree felony with mandatory prison terms and significant fines.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is defined under ORC 2925.03 as selling or offering to sell, preparing for shipment, shipping, transporting, distributing or delivering any controlled substance. This offense, depending upon the type of drug, amount of the drug, and vicinity to a school or juvenile, can range from a 5th degree felony with no presumption of prison to a 1st degree felony with a mandatory maximum prison sentence. Furthermore, the offender faces a potential $20,000 fine.

Trafficking in Marijuana

Trafficking in marijuana is defined under ORC 2925.03(C)(3) as selling or offering to sell, preparing for shipment, shipping, transporting, distributing or delivering marijuana. This offense, depending upon the amount of the drug and vicinity to a school or juvenile, can range from a 5th degree felony with no presumption of prison to a 1st degree felony with a mandatory maximum prison sentence. Furthermore, the offender faces a potential $20,000 fine.

Illegal Drug Manufacture

Illegal drug manufacture is defined under ORC 2925.04 as knowingly manufacturing or engaging in any part of the production of a controlled substance. The individual must have the specific intent or reasonable belief that the substance being manufactured is an illegal drug for the purpose of distribution or sale. This offense, depending upon the type of drug and vicinity of a school or juvenile, can be a 3rd, 2nd or 1st degree felony, with a potential prison term of 8 years. Furthermore, the offender faces a potential $20,000 fine.

Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana

Illegal cultivation of marijuana is defined under ORC 2925.04 as knowingly cultivating, preparing, producing, growing, or manufacturing marijuana or substances containing marijuana. The person must have the specific intent or reasonable belief that the substance being cultivated is marijuana for the purpose of distribution or sale. This offense can range from a minor misdemeanor, which carries only a $150 fine and no jail time, to a 2nd degree felony with a mandatory prison term of 2-8 years. Furthermore, the offender faces a potential $15,000 fine.

Drug Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia is defined under ORC 2925.14 as illegally possessing, making, obtaining, using or selling equipment, products or materials, that were created with the intention of drug use behind them. These include scales, water pipes, bongs, hypodermic needles or syringes, envelopes and containers for storing or packaging drugs, etc. Depending upon whether the paraphernalia was possessed or sold, and the age of the person to whom the paraphernalia was sold, this offense can be charged as a 4th, 2nd or 1st degree misdemeanor. The offender faces a potential 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine.

Marijuana Drug Paraphernalia

Marijuana drug paraphernalia is defined under ORC 2925.141 as knowingly using or possessing with purpose to use any equipment, product or material that is designed to be used to introduce marijuana into the human body. Common items include scales, water pipes, bongs, and envelopes or containers to package or store marijuana. This offense is a minor misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $150 fine. However, the offender also faces a potential 6 month – 5 year driver’s license suspension.

Corrupting Another With Drugs

Corrupting another with drugs is an offense that encompasses a number of actions. Generally, administering or furnishing a controlled substance to another that causes physical harm to that person. Depending upon the type of drug, whether the offense was committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile, and who the victim of the offense is, this offense can be a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree felony.

Drug Crimes Penalties in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio

The penalties a drug offender faces depends upon the offense charged, the level of the offense, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, the type of drug, the amount of the substance, and whether the offense was committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. The following is a list of the potential penalties for drug charges in Ohio:

  • Minor Misdemeanor – maximum $150 fine
  • 4th Degree Misdemeanor – 30 days in jail and a $250 fine
  • 3rd Degree Misdemeanor – 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
  • 2nd Degree Misdemeanor – 90 days in jail and a $750 fine
  • 1st Degree Misdemeanor – 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine
  • 5th Degree Felony – 6-12 months in prison and a $2500 fine
  • 4th Degree Felony – 6-18 months in prison and a $5000 fine
  • 3rd Degree Felony – 9 months – 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
  • 2nd Degree Felony – 2-8 years in prison and a $15,000 fine
  • 1st Degree Felony – 3-11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine

In addition to the penalties listed above, drug convictions can lead to mandatory prison terms, driver’s license suspension, unable to apply for student loans, and the inability to hold professional positions, such as in the healthcare and state government fields.

Drug Schedule in Ohio

ORC 3719.41 classifies drugs intro schedules, from Schedule I to Schedule V. The schedules categorize controlled substances and drugs, ranging from very addictive substances with severe penalties to the least addictive substances with less severe penalties.

  • Schedule I – Drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no known medical use. Examples include marijuana and heroin.
  • Schedule II – Drugs that have a high potential for abuse, but have accepted medical purposes. Examples include meth, PCP, and amphetamines.
  • Schedule III – Drugs that a lower potential for abuse and have accepted medical purposes. A common example is LSD.
  • Schedule IV – Drugs that have a low potential for abuse and are accepted for medical use. Examples include Xanax and Valium.
  • Schedule V – Drugs that have the least potential for abuse and approved for medical use. A common example is Ephedrine.

Common Examples of Controlled Substances in Ohio

Controlled substances include a wide variety of drugs, from prescribed medications to marijuana. Common examples of controlled substances include the following medications and pills:

  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Vicodin
  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet

Common examples of recreational drugs include:

  • Marijuana
  • PCP
  • Ecstasy
  • Meth
  • LSD
  • GHB
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Amphetamines

Diversion Programs in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio

In Columbus, a first time non-violent offender may be eligible for acceptance into diversion. This program, which is administered by the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, is generally available for non-violent misdemeanor and felony offenders, including those charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, Percocet, and other controlled substances. However, diversion is not automatically granted. It requires the agreement of the prosecutor and often the victim.

In addition to a general diversion program, Franklin County (Columbus) created the “Treatment is Essential to Success” (TIES) program for offenders whose offenses involved drugs and/or alcohol. The following criteria must be met for an offender to be eligible for this program:

  • 4th or 5th Degree Felony Offenders
  • Non-violent, non-sexually oriented offenses
  • Non-gun-related charges
  • No significant history of violent crimes or drug trafficking
  • Sufficient motivation for treatment
  • Primary diagnosis of chemical dependency
  • Defendant meets the criteria for presumption of probation under the sentencing guidelines

In Delaware, a pre-trial diversion program is available for those whose pending charges are limited to either minor misdemeanor drug possession or 4th degree misdemeanor drug paraphernalia. The offender must be approved by the prosecutor for the program and the victim’s views must be considered. If accepted into the program, the offender must waive their right to a trial, pay a $150 fee, and enter a guilty plea to the charges. Upon the successful completion of the program, the court will approve the defendant’s request to withdraw the guilty plea and the case will be dismissed.

Drug Resources in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio

Treatment is Essential to Success (TIES) – Drug court program in Columbus, Ohio, administered by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Pre-Trial Diversion Program – Delaware, Ohio pre-trial diversion for certain drug possession and paraphernalia offenses.

Ohio Drug Courts – Ohio drug courts provide programs to drug offenders that allow them to avoid jail/prison time.

Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services – Provides information on addiction, recovery, treatment and intervention.

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Drug Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Attorney David Johnson at Johnson Legal, LLC to discuss your case. An experienced and knowledgeable Columbus and Delaware, Ohio drug attorney can help you fight the charge and achieve the best possible outcome. Call Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192) or send an email to schedule a consultation with Attorney David Johnson. For further information, consult Johnson Legal, LLC’s drug offense blog.

Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following areas in central Ohio for drug defense:

Westerville, Worthington, Columbus, Polaris, Reynoldsburg, Grandview Heights, Shawnee Hills, Bexley, Pickerington, GahannaSunbury, Powell, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center, Galena, Clintonville, Huber Ridge, Blacklick, Grove City, Delaware, Marysville, Groveport, Newark, Canal Winchester, Obetz, Marion, PataskalaFranklin County, Morrow County, Licking County, Union County and Delaware County