Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter North Eastern Ohio

What Are Common Drug Offenses In Ohio?

These days the most common drug offenses  in Ohio are a toss-up between heroin and meth, and both are epidemics. A recent seminar mentioned there is one heroin overdose every single day in the Cleveland area. Meth is also a very serious drug being used and it is an epidemic especially in the more rural counties.

Unlawful Controlled Substances in Ohio

An unlawful controlled substance could be a wide variety of drugs including heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs, such as Percocet and Vicodin. Any kind of painkiller or narcotic that would require a prescription could also be considered a controlled substance.

Schedules of Controlled Substances under Ohio Law

There are five different schedules of controlled substances under Ohio law. The first includes a list of the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no medical value like heroin. The other schedules decrease in the level of possible dangerous use and addiction and may have medical uses.

Medical Marijuana Is Not Legal In Ohio

At this point in Ohio, marijuana is illegal for all use, medical or otherwise. A bill on the ballot was recently turned down by the voters. It was just not sitting well with people, so at this point, there is no legal marijuana in Ohio.

There Are Penalties in Ohio for Drug Paraphernalia

A person could be charged for anything that would typically be found around a house if it was being used for illegal drug use. For example, someone might have a hypodermic syringe because they were diabetic, but if there were drugs in it or it was being used for drugs, then the person could be charged with having drug paraphernalia.

This would extend all the way to pipes for marijuana, even the plastic bags that was used for carrying the marijuana or the scale used for weighing the drugs.

Anything that was being used in relation to drugs could be considered drug paraphernalia.

The Punishments for Paraphernalia Charges Would Vary Between 2nd Degree and 4th Degree

Possession of drug paraphernalia would be a misdemeanor, although there are a couple of different versions. Being in possession of actual drug paraphernalia would be a fourth degree misdemeanor, whereas possessing drug abuse instruments would be a second degree misdemeanor.

Marijuana paraphernalia is usually charged as a fourth degree misdemeanor whereas needles or anything used for heroin, for example, would be charged as a second degree misdemeanor.

Drug Offenses Could Fall Under Misdemeanor or Felony Charges Depending On the Quantity and Type of Drug

Whether a drug charge would be a misdemeanor or felony would be determined by two things, the first being what type of drug it was. A small amount of marijuana could be a misdemeanor, and possession of any other drug could be a felony. However, possession of a large amount of marijuana could end up being a felony, along with trafficking of any kind of drug. Again, it depends on the types of drugs and the amount.

When it comes to trafficking charges, the penalties would really depend on the quantity of drugs that were being sold. Any trafficking charge would start with a fifth degree felony, which would be the lowest degree, and it could go all the way up to a first degree felony and could be enhanced by some other factors.

Penalties Would Be Heavier If Minors Were Involved or If It Was Near a School

Penalties are usually enhanced if there is the presence of a juvenile or a school within 1,000 feet of the incident. This means that if there was a child nearby and someone was selling a small amount of marijuana, then it would go from a fifth degree felony to a fourth degree felony.

In this case the person could also face charges for endangering children or contributing to delinquency.

Second or Third Drug Offenses Can Make Penalties More Serious

The charges do get more serious at this point. In regards to possession, the crime itself would not become more severe but the judge would start handing out harsher penalties if the person was back in front of the court for a second, third or a fourth charge.

For other crimes such as assembling or purchasing chemicals or assembling methamphetamine, there would be some mandatory prison time if a person was caught for a second time, because law enforcement is really trying to crack down on those crimes.

For more information on Common Drug Offenses in Ohio, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (440) 409-7898 today.

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