Drug Possession

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with drug possession in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio drug 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 possession charge.

Drug Possession in Ohio

Pursuant to 2925.11(A), no person shall knowingly obtain, possess or use a controlled substance or analog. Drug possession offenses in Ohio can have very serious consequences, including prison sentences, fines and significant negative effects on future educational and employment opportunities.

A person must have actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance in order to be charged with drug possession in Ohio. Actual possession is having physical control of the controlled substance on your person or in your possession. For example, if the controlled substance is in your pocket, you are in actual possession of a controlled substance. Constructive possession requires 3 elements:

  1. The person was aware that the substance was in the vicinity;
  2. They must know that the substance is illegal; and
  3. The controlled substance must be close enough to actually possess or was in close proximity to the person.

In addition to the criminal penalties set forth below for drug possession, a violation that is a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree felony will have a mandatory fine imposed (up to $20,000) and the person’s driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months – 5 years. The person may, at any time after 2 years from the day in which the offender’s sentence was imposed, file a motion requesting termination of the suspension.

Marijuana Possession

Except as provided below, possession of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $150 fine and no jail.

Marijuana Possession

Amount of DrugChargeSection Determining PrisonPresumption/Mandatory Prison
100-199 grams4th degree misdemeanor-------No
200-999 grams5th degree felony2929.13(B)No
1000-4999 grams3rd degree felony2929.13(C)No
5000-19,999 grams3rd degree felony2929.13(C)Presumption
20,000-39,999 grams2nd degree felony-------Mandatory 5-8 years
40,000+ grams2nd degree felony-------Mandatory max

Cocaine Possession

Except as provided below, possession of cocaine is a 5th degree felony and 2929.13(B) determines the prison term.

Cocaine Possession

Amount of DrugChargeSection Determining PrisonPresumption/Mandatory Prison
5-9 grams4th degree felony2929.13(B)No
10-19 grams3rd degree felony-------Presumption
If convicted 2 or more times for previous felony drug abuse offense - mandatory
20-26 grams2nd degree felony-------Mandatory
27-99 grams1st degree felony-------Mandatory
100+ grams1st degree felony-------Mandatory max

LSD Possession

Except as provided below, possession of LSD is a 5th degree felony and 2929.13(B) determines prison term.

LSD Possession

Amount of DrugChargeSection Determining PrisonPresumption/Mandatory Prison
10-49 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
1-4 grams (Liquid Form)
4th degree felony2929.13(C)No
50-249 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
5-24 grams (Liquid Form)
3rd degree felony-------Presumption
250-999 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
25-99 grams (Liquid Form)
2nd degree felony-------Mandatory
1000-4999 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
100-499 grams (Liquid Form)
1st degree felony-------Mandatory
5000+ Unit Doses (Solid Form)
500+ grams (Liquid Form)
1st degree felony-------Mandatory Max

*Unit dose means an amount of a compound, mixture or preparation containing a controlled substance that is separately identifiable and in a form that indicates that it is the amount to be administered to or taken by an individual.

Heroin Possession

Except as provided below, possession of heroin is a 5th degree felony and 2929.13(B) determines the prison term.

Heroin Possession

Amount of DrugChargeSection Determining PrisonPresumption/Mandatory Prison
10-49 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
1-4 grams (Liquid Form)
4th degree felony2929.13(C)No
50-99 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
5-9 grams (Liquid Form)
3rd degree felony-------Presumption
100-499 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
10-49 grams (Liquid Form)
2nd degree felony-------Mandatory
500-2499 Unit Doses (Solid Form)
50-249 grams (Liquid Form)
1st degree felony-------Mandatory
2500+ Unit Doses (Solid Form)
250+ grams (liquid form)
1st degree felony-------Mandatory max

*Unit dose means an amount of a compound, mixture or preparation containing a controlled substance that is separately identifiable and in a form that indicates that it is the amount to be administered to or taken by an individual.

Hashish Possession

Except as provided below, possession of hashish is a minor misdemeanor.

Hashish Possession

Amount of DrugChargeSection Determining PrisonPresumption/Mandatory Prison
5-9 grams (Solid Form)
1-but less than 2 grams(Liquid Form)
4th degree misdemeanor-------No
10-49 grams (Solid Form)
2-9 grams (Liquid Form)
5th degree felony2929.13(B)No
50-249 grams (Solid Form)
10-49 grams (Liquid Form)
3rd degree felony2929.13(C)No
250-999 grams (Solid Form)
50-199 grams (Liquid Form)
3rd degree felony-------Presumption
1000-1999 grams (Solid Form)
200-399 grams (Liquid Form)
2nd degree felony-------Mandatory 5-8 years
2000+ grams (Solid Form)
400+ grams (Liquid Form)
2nd degree felony-------Mandatory max

Pursuant to 2925.11(F), it is an affirmative defense as provided in 2901.05 to a charge of 4th degree felony under this section that the controlled substance that gave rise to the charge is in an amount, in a form, or is possessed under circumstances that indicate the substance was possessed solely for personal use. If the offender sustains the burden of evidence, the accused may be prosecuted for a misdemeanor violation of possession of a Schedule III, IV or V drug, or a 5th degree felony for possession of Cocaine, LSD or Heroin.

Schedule I or II Possession, Except Marijuana, Cocaine, LSD, Heroin, and Hashish

Except as provided below, aggravated drug possession is a 5th degree felony and 2929.13(B) determines the prison term.

Schedule I or II Possession, Except Marijuana, Cocaine, LSD, Heroin, and Hashish

Amount of DrugChargePresumption/Mandatory Prison
Bulk Amount - Less than 5x Bulk Amount3rd degree felonyPresumption
5x Bulk Amount - Less than 50x Bulk Amount2nd degree felonyMandatory
50x Bulk Amount - Less than 100x Bulk Amount1st degree felonyMandatory
Greater than 100x Bulk Amount1st degree felonyMandatory max

*Bulk amount is set forth in 2925.01(D).

Schedule III, IV or V Possession

Except as provided below, drug possession is a 1st degree misdemeanor or, if previously convicted of a drug abuse offense, a 5th degree felony.

Schedule III, IV or V Possession

Amount of DrugChargePresumption/Mandatory Prison
Bulk Amount - Less than 5x Bulk Amount4th degree felony2929.13(C) determines prison term
5x Bulk Amount - Less than 50x Bulk Amount3rd degree felonyPresumption
Greater than 50x Bulk Amount2nd degree felonyMandatory

*Bulk amount is set forth in 2925.01(D).

Drug Possession Defenses in Ohio

Several defenses exist for drug possession, including unlawful search and seizure, lack of Miranda warnings, entrapment by law enforcement, mistaken identity and lack of possession.

The primary defense would be lack of possession. A person must have actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance in order to be charged with drug possession in Ohio. Actual possession is having physical control of the controlled substance on your person or in your possession. For example, if the controlled substance is in your pocket, you are in actual possession of a controlled substance. Constructive possession exists when an individual knowingly exercises dominion and control over an object, even though that object may not be within the individual’s immediate physical possession.

A second prominent defense is unlawful search and seizure. Law enforcement does not always comply with search and seizure laws, creating an opportunity for you to assert that the police violated your constitutional rights. An unlawful search and seizure could result from a lack of probable cause or search warrant, and from a search warrant that was not properly executed.

In the event that an unlawful search and seizure took place, your attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence. If granted, the evidence obtained in violation of your constitutional rights will be excluded from the prosecution’s case and the charges may be dismissed.

If you were charged with drug possession and the arresting officer failed to administer Miranda warnings, anything you said to the police officer will not be admissible in court.

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Drug Attorney

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

Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following cities in the central Ohio area for drug possession:

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