Aggravated Drug Possession in Ohio
27 May
Author: Colin Maher
Date: 2019-05-27
Categories: Traffic

What Does It Mean to Be Charged With Aggravated Drug Possession in Ohio?

You are most likely to be charged with aggravated drug possession in Ohio when police suspect that you have intentionally bought or used amphetamines, methamphetamine or a prescription opioid painkiller without a prescription. The charge will be prosecuted as a felony, and the potential criminal penalties will depend on the weight of the drugs you allegedly possessed.

What Ohio State Law Says About Aggravated Drug Possession

Section 2925.11 of the Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) makes it a crime to “knowingly obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog.” A violation of this statute is deemed to be an aggravated offense when the controlled substance is “a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance included in schedule I or II” that is not marijuana, cocaine, hashish, heroin, or LSD.

Ohio follows the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in defining a Schedule I controlled substance as a drug or chemical that has no federally recognized medicinal or therapeutic use but which can produce a high, be abused, and cause addiction or death. Schedule II controlled substances are drugs that do have therapeutic uses but which can also be abused and cause serious health problems.

Drugs That Put a Person at Risk for an Aggravated Drug Possession Charge in Ohio

As noted above, opioid painkillers, amphetamines, and methamphetamine are the most-common controlled substances named in aggravated drug possession charging documents. The category of opioid painkillers includes OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone), Percocet (oxycodone), and fentanyl. Prescription medications for attention-deficit disorder like Adderall contain amphetamine salts.

Other medications that DEA places in Schedule II include

  • Codeine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Sufentanil

Felony Charges for Aggravated Drug Possession in Ohio

The lowest-level charge for aggravated drug possession in Ohio is a fifth-degree felony. A charge can increase to a first-degree felony when the amount of the drug involved is large. Mandatory prison terms are imposed for third-, second- and first-degree felony aggravated drug possession convictions.


Maximum Jail Term

Maximum Fine

Fifth-Degree Felony

6-12 months


Fourth-Degree Felony

6-18 months


Third-Degree Felony

9-36 months


Second-Degree Felony

2-8 years


First-Degree Felony

11 years


Note that even though no possession charge for marijuana, cocaine, hashish, heroin, or LSD is defined as “aggravated,” felony convictions are possible for possessing each. Under O.R.C. § 2925.11, felony charges start at the following weights:

Controlled Substance

Felony Possession


1,000 grams


Any weight


10 grams solid


Any weight


Any weight

Possible Defenses Against Aggravated Drug Possession in Ohio

Since doctors and dentists prescribe many of the medications that can draw an aggravated drug possession charge, producing a valid prescription is usually enough to get the case dismissed. An experienced drug possession defense attorney will also demand that police and prosecutors present strong proof that

  • His client knew the drugs were controlled substances,
  • His client even knew that the medication contained controlled substances, and
  • The drugs were found as a result of a lawful search.

If you need advice or representation from a drug possession lawyer who handles drug possession defense work in Columbus and Franklin County, consider reaching out to Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm. You can have a free phone consultation by calling (614) 205-2208 or connecting with Colin online.

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