News & Blog

Underage DUI Penalties in Ohio

Although only 10% of licensed drivers are under the age of 21, underage drivers are responsible for about 17% of fatal drinking and driving accidents. This is because underage drivers tend to be more reckless and are less likely to wear a seatbelt.

Ohio has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. Drivers under the age of 21 will be arrested if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.02%. The BAC limit for drivers over the age of 21 is 0.08%.

  • 2014-06-19
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The Consequences of Repeat DUI/OVI Offenses in Ohio

There are serious penalties in place to punish those who drive drunk, including probation and jail time. In some cases, however, these punishments aren’t enough to deter people from drinking and driving again in the future. Repeat DUI/OVI offenders make up about a third of drunk driving arrests each year.

In Ohio, the status of repeat offenders in DUI/OVI cases is determined based on a six-year “look back” period. The look back period is calculated from the date of the prior conviction.

  • 2014-06-05
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DUI in Ohio with an Out-of-State License

The penalties for a DUI offense in Ohio depend on how much alcohol you have in your system, how many prior DUI/OVI related offenses you have, and whether or not you refuse to take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol level.

  • 2014-04-21
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Fight my DUI / OVI or Take the Deal?

When facing any criminal or traffic charge, a plea bargain is what the prosecutor offers in exchange for not having to move the case further along in the court process. Offers can get better as the case proceeds, but they can also get worse.

  • 2013-09-06
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OVI Ohio: First Offense Penalties

JAIL

Mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail or 72 hours in a driver intervention program. Up to 6 months in jail.

*Note- if you have a high alcohol test result, the mandatory minimum is increased to 6 days in jail, or 3 days in jail and 72 hours in a driver intervention program.

  • 2013-08-29
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35 Procedural Errors to Fight DUI / OVI Administrative License Suspension in Ohio

There are two types of license suspensions that can be imposed after you have been charged for operating under the influence. They act to suspend your license while your case is pending in court. One is called a public safety suspension that the judge can impose if they feel your continued driving will be a threat to public safety. The other is an administrative license suspension through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This is also referred to as an implied consent suspension.

  • 2013-08-12
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Should I Take the Portable Breath Test in Ohio?

Should I take the Portable Breath Test in Ohio?

If you are pulled over for driving under the influence DUI/OVI, you may be asked to submit to a breath test while on the scene. These portable breath tests (PBT) are not scientifically reliable and cannot be used for or against you in trial. The fact that you refuse the PBT also cannot be used against you in trial.

  • 2013-08-01
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Speed Enforced by Aircraft Ohio

How many times have you been driving and one of your passengers warns you about a police officer checking the speed of traffic? Good luck seeing this one coming back seat driver. Many jurisdictions are now checking speed by aircraft.

  • 2013-07-17
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License to Carry a Concealed Handgun- Stopped by Law Enforcement

As you think about exercising your rights as an American this Fourth of July, remember that doing so can create certain duties under Ohio law. If you have your concealed carry license and are stopped for a law enforcement purpose while carrying a concealed handgun:

  • 2013-07-02
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Top Breathalyzer Myths Debunked

There are many myths and rumors about breathalyzer tests and how you can beat them. Everyone has probably heard a story about a friend of a friend who was able to pass a breathalyzer test by sucking on a penny or altering his breathing patterns.

Getting pulled over for a DUI/OVI has led many people to desperate measures, but there’s only so much you can do if you’re asked to take a breathalyzer test after you’ve been drinking. Below are some common myths about how to beat breathalyzer tests, debunked.

  • 2014-06-12
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Tips for Filing an Appeal in a DUI Case

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI/OVI, you have the option of appealing your case with the help of a Columbus, Ohio DUI attorney. When you file an appeal, you’re asking the court to review the details of your case to determine whether an error was made, either in regards to the DUI/OVI conviction itself or with the sentencing.

By filing an appeal, you may be able to have the charges reduced or even dismissed and removed from your record altogether. If the proper evidence is displayed in court, you may be convicted of a lesser charge.

  • 2014-06-03
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What do I do for an ID after a DUI / OVI?

If you have been pulled over for Driving Under the Influence in Ohio, it is likely that the officer took your driver's license and immediately placed you under an administrative license suspension. If you don't have some other form of identification like a passport, the taking of your license may make it difficult to use your debit or credit card.

  • 2013-12-01
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Breathalyzer: to blow or not to blow in Ohio?

Refusing to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) may result in stiffer penalties. That being said, taking a test when your alcohol level is high may also result in stiffer penalties. So how do you know when to submit to a breathalyzer?

  • 2013-09-03
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How do I Fight my DUI / OVI in Columbus Ohio?

Driving under the influence, called operating a vehicle under the influence in Ohio, is typically a misdemeanor of the first degree. The mandatory minimum penalties on a first offense OVI conviction include 3 days in jail or 72 hours in a driver intervention program, a $375 fine, and a driver's license suspension for 6 months.

  • 2013-08-19
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DUI / OVI and Prescription Medication

Just as with alcohol and other drugs, driving under the influence of prescription medication is illegal if you are impaired. A recent sobriety checkpoint in Columbus showed that 11% of drivers were under the influence of prescription medication as compared to only 3% of drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.

  • 2013-08-08
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Prior Record Hindering Employment Opportunities

Have you ever applied for a job only to find out your application has been denied due to your criminal history? A prior record for what you thought was a minor offense can come back to haunt you. Something as simple as an open container or disorderly conduct may be preventing you from obtaining your dream job.

  • 2013-07-22
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DUI and Endangering Children

As if being charged with a DUI isn't scary enough, the charge of endangering children may also be added if a child under the age of 18 is also in the vehicle. Endangering children is a misdemeanor of the first degree, but can be a felony of the fifth degree if it results in serious physical harm to the child like in an accident. If you happen to be out for dinner with your family and have a couple drinks, it is extremely important to designate a driver or make alternative arrangements for transportation.

  • 2013-07-13
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Minor Traffic Violations Stack Up

Having received a minor traffic ticket, you may just be thinking about paying the ticket to avoid going to court. Be cautious if this is your decision. What are minor traffic offenses in Ohio?

  • 2013-06-13
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Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Handle My DUI/DWI Case?

As with any court proceeding, you have the right to hire a lawyer in a DUI/OVI case. But do you really need a drunk driving attorney? A DUI/OVI is a serious offense that could significantly affect your future. Hiring a DUI lawyer could help you get your charge reduced or dismissed, so you can avoid losing your driver’s license.

  • 2014-06-11
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Maher Law Firm Launches New Responsive Website

Maher Law Firm is a leading DUI/OVI and criminal defense law firm in Columbus, Ohio. We teamed up with Columbus web design and marketing company Cynexis Media to strategically redesign our website and align it with our goals and mission.

Our new and improved website has a strong design, user-friendly layout, and dynamic, engaging atmosphere. The custom site comes equipped with a content management system (CMS) and is built with HTML5 and CSS3. The background of the home page displays a time-lapse video that adds a completely new dimension to the site.

  • 2014-04-29
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DUI Sentencing Factors

Certain factors will play a role in the mandatory minimum penalties that must be imposed in your DUI case if convicted. They include a high alcohol test, a prior DUI within the last 6 years, and a prior DUI within 20 years if you refused to take a chemical test to determine your alcohol or drug levels. Each factor increases the penalties in the following ways:

  • 2013-09-10
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OVI Ohio: Second Offense Penalties

If you have been charged with your second OVI offense within 6 years, here are the potential penalties:

JAIL

Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail, or 5 days in jail and 18 days house arrest. Up to 6 months in jail.

*Note- if you have a high alcohol test result or refuse to test, the mandatory minimum is increased to 20 days in jail, or 10 days in jail and 36 days house arrest.

  • 2013-08-30
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3 Types of DUI / OVI Driver’s License Suspensions in Ohio

The administrative license suspension, also known as the implied consent suspension, is the initial driver's license suspension imposed on a DUI or physical control case in Ohio. It is a suspension for either testing over the legal limit, or for refusing to submit to a test.

  • 2013-08-15
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Did the officer have the right to pull me over for DUI in Ohio?

In order for an officer to pull you over, they must have reasonable suspicion. Determining reasonable suspicion involves figuring out what the officer knew at the time they decided to pull you over. Witnessing a traffic violation like drifting over the lane markings is enough to have reasonable suspicion.

  • 2013-08-05
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Columbus “Operation Cool Down”

If you have tuned in to the local news this week, you may have heard mention of "Operation Cool Down." Due to the unbearably hot temperatures, Mayor Coleman asked Columbus city personnel to open designated fire hydrants throughout the city the afternoon of July 18th.

  • 2013-07-18
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Ohio Drug Trafficking Laws: A Guide to Offense Levels and Penalties

Scroll down to review detailed descriptions of what is the difference between drug trafficking and aggravating drug trafficking in Ohio, as well the statutory penalties for trafficking in different types of drugs. Before doing that, however, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with a few basic facts that will make the details easier to understand.

What is Aggravated Trafficking

First, section 2925.03 of the Ohio Revised Code defines drug trafficking as the illegal sale, shipment, transportation, delivery distribution or preparation for distribution of drugs. When the substance involved is a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, the alleged offense is treated as aggravated trafficking.

Ohio follows the lead of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in defining a Schedule I drug as one with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs are those that have legitimate therapeutic uses but which can also be abused and lead to addiction.

Examples of Schedule I drugs are Ecstasy, heroin, LSD, and peyote. Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, but Ohio allows some medicinal cannabis use under tight restrictions.

Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamines, Adderall, Ritalin, and a range of prescription painkillers classified as opioids. This last group of medications includes fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone and oxycodone. Familiar brand-name opioids are Dilaudid, OxyContin, and Vicodin.

Most alleged drug trafficking offenses are prosecuted as felonies. The basic drug trafficking penalty chart used by judges in Ohio looks like this:

Felony Class

Jail Sentence and Max. Fine

Fifth-degree (F5)

6-12 months and $2,500

Fourth-degree (F4)

6-18 months and $5,000

Third-degree (F3)

9-30 months and $10,000

Second-degree (F2)

2-8 years and $15,000

First-degree (F1)

3-11 years and $20,000

Prosecutors and judges in Ohio take drug trafficking charges very seriously. They will seek and impose maximum sentences. They will also pursue multiple charges for each type of drug an alleged trafficker possesses at the time of arrest.

If you are facing a lengthy jail sentence for aggravated drug trafficking, Colin Maher of the Columbus, Ohio-based Maher Law Firm may be able to help. He has a strong track record of defending criminal suspects in the capital city and throughout Franklin County. He also offers no-cost, no-pressure phone consultations to potential clients.

You can speak to a Columbus criminal defense attorney now by calling Colin at (614) 205-2208 or by completing this online contact form.

Possible Ohio drug trafficking and aggravated drug trafficking charges:

Aggravated trafficking is a felony of the third degree if:

  • Aggravated drug trafficking is committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds a bulk amount but is less than 5 times bulk amount (presumption for prison term)

Aggravated trafficking is a felony of the second degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds a bulk amount but is less than 5 times a bulk amount and the offense was committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 times a bulk amount but is less than 50 times a bulk amount (mandatory prison term)

Aggravated trafficking is a felony of the first degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 times a bulk amount but is less than 50 times a bulk amount and the offense was committed within the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 times a bulk amount but is less than 100 times a bulk amount (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 100 times a bulk amount (mandatory prison term and considered major drug offender)

If the substance is included in schedule III, IV, or V, the alleged crime is considered trafficking in drugs. Trafficking in drugs is generally a felony of the fifth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and, therefore, the possible penalties.

Drug Trafficking is a felony of the fourth degree if:

  • It is committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds a bulk amount but is less than 5 times a bulk amount

Drug Trafficking is a felony of the third degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds a bulk amount but is less than 5 times a bulk amount and the offense was committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 times a bulk amount but is less than 50 times a bulk amount (presumption for prison term)

Drug Trafficking is a felony of the second degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 times a bulk amount but is less than 50 times a bulk amount and the offense was committed within the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 times a bulk amount (mandatory prison term)

Drug Trafficking is a felony of the first degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 times a bulk amount and the offense was committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)

If the substance is marijuana, the alleged crime is considered trafficking in marijuana. Trafficking in marijuana is generally a felony of the fifth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and, therefore, the possible penalties.

Trafficking in marijuana is a felony of the fourth degree if:

  • It is committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 200 grams but is less than 1000 grams

Trafficking in marijuana is a felony of the third degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 200 grams but is less than 1000 and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1000 grams but is less than 5000 grams
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5000 grams but is less than 20,000 grams (presumption for prison term)

Trafficking in marijuana is a felony of the second degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1000 grams but is less than 5000 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5000 grams but is less than 20,000 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 20,000 grams but is less than 40,000 grams (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 40,000 grams (mandatory maximum prison term)

Trafficking in marijuana is a felony of the first degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 20,000 grams but is less than 40,000 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory maximum prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 40,000 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory maximum prison term)

Trafficking in marijuana is a minor misdemeanor if the offense involves a gift of 20 grams or less. It is a misdemeanor of the third degree if the gift of 20 grams or less occurs within the vicinity of a school or juvenile.

If the substance is cocaine, the alleged crime is considered trafficking in cocaine. Trafficking in cocaine is generally a felony of the fifth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and, therefore, the possible penalties.

Trafficking in cocaine is a felony of the fourth degree if:

  • The offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 grams but is less than 10 grams

Trafficking in cocaine is a felony of the third degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 grams but is less than 10 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 20 grams (presumption for prison term)

Trafficking in cocaine is a felony of the second degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 20 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 20 grams but is less than 27 grams (mandatory prison term)

Trafficking in cocaine is a felony of the first degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 20 grams but is less than 27 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 27 grams but is less than 100 grams (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 100 grams (mandatory maximum prison term and considered major drug offender)

If the substance is LSD, the alleged crime is considered trafficking in LSD. Trafficking in LSD is generally a felony of the fifth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and, therefore, the possible penalties.

Trafficking in LSD is a felony of the fourth degree if:

  • The offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 unit doses but is less than 50 unit doses
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1 gram but is less than 5 grams liquid

Trafficking in LSD is a felony of the third degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 unit doses but is less than 50 unit doses and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1 gram but is less than 5 grams liquid and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 unit doses but is less than 250 unit doses (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 grams but is less than 25 grams liquid (presumption for prison term)

Trafficking in LSD drug is a felony of the second degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 unit doses but is less than 250 unit doses and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 grams but is less than 25 grams liquid and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 250 unit doses but is less than 1000 unit doses (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 25 grams but is less than 100 grams liquid (mandatory prison term)

Trafficking in LSD drug is a felony of the first degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 250 unit doses but is less than 1000 unit doses and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 25 grams but is less than 100 grams liquid and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1000 unit doses but is less than 5000 unit doses (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 100 grams but is less than 500 grams liquid (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5000 unit doses (mandatory maximum prison term and considered major drug offender)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 500 grams liquid (mandatory maximum prison term and considered major drug offender)

If the substance is heroin, the alleged crime is considered trafficking in heroin. Trafficking in heroin is generally a felony of the fifth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and, therefore, the possible penalties.

Trafficking in heroin is a felony of the fourth degree if:

  • The offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 unit doses but is less than 50 unit doses
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds one gram but is less than 5 grams

Trafficking in heroin is a felony of the third degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 unit doses but is less than 50 unit doses and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1 gram but is less than 5 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 unit doses but is less than 100 unit doses (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 grams but is less than 10 grams (presumption for prison term)

Trafficking in heroin is a felony of the second degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 unit doses but is less than 100 unit doses and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 5 grams but is less than 10 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 100 unit doses but is less than 500 unit doses (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 50 grams (mandatory prison term)

Trafficking in heroin is a felony of the first degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 100 unit doses but is less than 500 unit doses and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 50 grams and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 500 unit doses but is less than 2500 unit doses (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 grams but is less than 250 grams (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 2500 unit doses (mandatory maximum prison term and considered major drug offender)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 250 grams (mandatory maximum prison term and considered major drug offender)

If the substance is hashish, the alleged crime is considered trafficking in hashish. Trafficking in hashish is generally a felony of the fifth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and, therefore, the possible penalties.

Trafficking in Hashish is a felony of the fourth degree if:

  • The offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 50 grams solid form
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 2 grams but is less than 10 grams liquid form

Trafficking in Hashish is a felony of the third degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 50 grams in solid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 2 grams but is less than 10 grams in liquid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 grams but is less than 250 grams in solid form
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 50 grams in liquid form
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 250 grams but is less than 1000 in solid form (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 grams but is less than 200 grams in liquid form (presumption for prison term)

Trafficking in Hashish is a felony of the second degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 grams but is less than 250 grams in solid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 50 grams in liquid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 250 grams but is less than 1000 in solid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 50 grams but is less than 200 grams in liquid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (presumption for prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1000 grams but is less than 2000 grams in solid form (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 200 grams but is less than 400 grams in liquid form (mandatory prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 2000 grams in solid form (mandatory maximum prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 400 grams in liquid form (mandatory maximum prison term)

Trafficking in Hashish is a felony of the first degree if:

  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 1000 grams but is less than 2000 grams in solid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory maximum prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 200 grams but is less than 400 grams in liquid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory maximum prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 2000 grams in solid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory maximum prison term)
  • The amount involved equals or exceeds 400 grams in liquid form and the offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile (mandatory maximum prison term)

If the substance is spice, the alleged crime is considered trafficking in spice. Trafficking in spice is generally a felony of the fifth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and, therefore, the possible penalties.

Trafficking in spice is a felony of the fourth degree if:

  • The offense occurred in the vicinity of a school or juvenile

  • 2013-07-05
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Criminal and Traffic Law 101

The Ohio Constitution provides in relevant part that the Ohio General Assembly (the Senate and House of Representatives) shall be given the authority to propose laws also called bills.

  • 2013-05-16
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