Drug crimes in Ohio range from misdemeanors with minimal sentences to felonies with very harsh punishments. Felony drug convictions can result in mandatory prison sentences and lead to a driver’s license suspension, denial of the right to vote and the inability to maintain or obtain professional positions, such as the healthcare industry, aviation or in public office positions.
Drug offenses can also be charged as federal offenses under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Federal drug charges usually result in more serious penalties and consequences than Ohio drug charges. A few commonly charged drug offenses in Ohio are:
- Possession of Controlled Substances
- Drug Manufacturing
- Trafficking in Drugs
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession with Intent to Sell
- Felony Drug Possession
- Prescription Drug Charges
- Ohio Drug Courts
- Drug Crime FAQ
- Drug Conspiracy
- Deception to Obtain
- Doctor Shopping
Akron Drug Crimes Attorney
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Akron, Ohio, or the surrounding area, contact the Law Office of Walter Benson. Attorney Benson will assist you in finding the most effective defense possible. Call the Law Office of Walter Benson for a free consultation about your drug charges at (330) 258-1384.
Ohio Drug Crimes Information Center
- Drug Offenses and Statutes in Ohio
- Ohio’s Drug Schedule
- Penalties for Drug Offenses in Ohio
- Federal Controlled Substances Act
Drug Crime Violations and Statutes in Ohio
Chapter 2925 of the Ohio Revised Code governs all state drug charges in Ohio. The following is a list of some of the most common drug offenses in Ohio:
Trafficking in Drugs – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.03 – This offense is defined as the sale, shipment, transportation, distribution or delivery of any controlled substance. This offense can be a felony of the fifth, fourth, third, second or first degree, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property. If the offense is a certain controlled substance in Schedule I or II, it is Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs.
Illegal Manufacture of Drugs – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.04 – This offense is engaging in any part of production of a controlled substance. This offense can be a felony of the third, second or first degree, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property.
Possession of Controlled Substances – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.11 – Any person who knowingly obtains, possesses or uses a controlled substance can be charged with this offense. This offense can be a misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the fifth, fourth, third, second or first degree, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property. If the offense is a certain controlled substance in Schedule I or II, it is Aggravated Possession of Drugs.
Possession of Paraphernalia / Drug Abuse Instruments – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.12 – Any person who knowingly makes, obtains, possesses or uses any instrument, article or thing that is intended to use or administer a controlled substance, and the thing has been used by the alleged offender. Examples can include hypodermics, syringes, papers, needles, plastic bags, cutting devices, spoons, razors, etc. This offense can be a misdemeanor of the first or second degree.
Ohio’s Drug Schedule
The section 3719.41 of the Ohio Revised Code classifies drugs, or controlled substances, into schedules, from Schedule I to Schedule V. The schedules categorize controlled substances, drugs and medications. The schedules range from very addicting substances with more severe penalties for drug offenses (Schedule I) to the least addictive substances with less severe penalties for offenses involving drugs (Schedule V).
- Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no known or accepted medical use in the United States. Some examples include heroin, marijuana and cathinone.
- Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but have known or accepted medical purposes in the United States. Examples include opium, hydrocodone, amphetamines, meth and PCP.
- Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs, and have accepted medical uses in the United States. Common examples include LSD and phenobarbital.
- Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and are accepted for medical use in the United States. Some examples include Xanax and Valium.
- Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse and are commonly used for medical purposes in the United States. Examples in this schedule include ephedrine, if not listed in another schedule, and small amounts of narcotic preparation medications.
Examples of Controlled Substances in Ohio
Controlled substances can include anything from prescription medications to illegal street drugs. Other common types of controlled substances are medications without prescriptions, any derivative or base of street drugs or medications, natural chemicals, plants, man-made substances, or any other substance that may be abused as a drug.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Columbus, Ohio
The potential punishments for drug crime convictions in Ohio vary widely. The following list describes suggested sentencing guidelines for Ohio drug charges:
- Minor Misdemeanor - Fines up to $150
- Misdemeanor of the Fourth Degree – Jail time up to 30 days and/or fines not exceeding $250
- Misdemeanor of the Third Degree – Up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500
- Misdemeanor of the Second Degree – Jail sentence not more than 90 days and/or a fine up to $750
- Misdemeanor of the First Degree – Up to 180 days in jail and/or fines up to $1,000
- Felony of the Fifth Degree – Prison time from six to 12 months and/or fines up to $2,500
- Felony of the Fourth Degree – Prison sentence from six to 18 months and/or fines not more than $5,000
- Felony of the Third Degree – Prison sentence ranging from one to five years and/or fines not more than $10,000
- Felony of the Second Degree – Sentence ranges from two to eight years in prison and/or fines not exceeding $15,000
- Felony of the First Degree – Ohio prison sentence ranging from three to 10 years and/or fines up to $20,000
The preceding list is only a suggested guideline for Ohio, and a person convicted of drug charges in Ohio can face different penalties depending on the facts of their particular case.
Federal Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 807 et seq.) defines federal drug charges and the penalties that can result from these charges. A person can be charged with a federal drug offense of they commit an offense while crossing state borders or entering Ohio from another country while committing a drug offense. However, since drugs often come from different countries and there are usually many people involved in drug transactions, a person can be charged with a federal drug offenses even while in the state of Ohio.
The Controlled Substance Act also categorizes controlled substances into Schedules similar to Ohio’s schedule of drugs, with Schedule I drugs categorized as most likely to be abused with severe penalties, and Schedule V drugs as the least likely to be abused with the least severe penalties.
Convictions for federal drug charges are usually much harsher than state sentences and can lead to longer prison sentences and much greater fines.