Even though Ohio allows the use of medical cannabis and Columbus police treat having very small amounts of marijuana as a minor misdemeanor offense, being arrested while possessing nearly any amount of a controlled substance can bring serious criminal consequences. Our Columbus drug possession lawyers handle all drug possession charges, including: Illegal possession of marijuana.

Nearly every charge is prosecuted as a felony, and the penalties extend well beyond a jail sentence. This makes enlisting the advice and representation of an experienced Columbus Ohio drug possession lawyer to mount a vigorous defense essential.

Which Drugs Are Illegal to Possess?

According to section 2925.11 of the Ohio Revised Code, knowingly possessing any amount of a controlled substance without a prescription is a crime. Exceptions are made for health care providers, but such individuals can still get into serious legal trouble if they use medications recreationally. Doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and veterinarians are also watched closely when any reason exists to suspect that they are involved in drug trafficking. If you’re charged with drug possession in Ohio, it’s important to hire an experienced Columbus drug possession attorney as soon as possible.

Ohio follows the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) when it comes to defining which drugs are classified as controlled substances. Without going into so much detail that it becomes overwhelming, the systems looks like this:

  • Schedule I — chemicals with a high potential for abuse and addiction that DO NOT have federally recognized therapeutic uses
  • Schedule II — chemicals with high potential for abuse and addiction that DO have federally recognized therapeutic uses
  • Schedule III-V — primarily prescription medications that produce a high or which can be easily converted into Schedule I or Schedule II substances.

Heroin, LSD. PCP, and spice are in Schedule I. Marijuana also continues being listed as a Schedule I substance at the federal and state level.

Schedule II includes cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, and opioids like fentanyl, Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin. Schedule III-V drugs include codeine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, certain sleep aids and some combination cough syrups.

When Can Possessing a Drug Become a Crime?

Possessing a controlled substance becomes a prosecutable crime when a person is found possessing the substance with no valid prescription. Penalties increase severely when the amount of the substance possessed is considered “bulk amount.”  Ohio law defines a bulk amount for each substance that appears on a DEA schedule. For most Schedule II substances, the bulk amount is the lowest single dosage available for sale.

For instance, one Adderall capsule, which contains amphetamine salts, is the bulk amount. Possessing five Adderall capsules would constitute possessing five times the bulk amount, which is a felony. Having the right Columbus drug possession attorney makes all the difference in your defense!

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Ohio?

A conviction or guilty plea on a misdemeanor or felony drug possession charge will bring a jail sentence, criminal fines, court fees, a driver’s license suspension and the suspension or revocation of a professional license, such as a license to practice medicine or law.

Penalties increase with the amounts of drugs possessed. You can see the maximum statutory penalties here.

What Defenses Against Ohio Drug Possession Charges Are Possible?

Ohio law spells out a handful of “affirmative defenses” against drug possession charges. These grounds for the automatic dismissal of a case include possessing only an amount suitable for personal use and possessing a controlled substance that is just one component of a medication that was specifically prepared for treatment of a medical condition. Contact the dedicated Columbus drug crime defense lawyers at Maher Law Firm, about your case.

Additionally, the drug possession statute requires that a person charged with the alleged offense must know that he or she possessed a controlled substance without having a prescription. A skilled Columbus Ohio drug possession defense lawyer will make police and prosecutors prove that his client knew he or she possessed the drug alleged.

Colin Maher is a drug possession attorney in Columbus, Ohio who takes cases all throughout Franklin County. He offers free phone consultations to potential clients, so call him at (614) 205-2208 to learn what he may be able to do for you. You can also contact Colin online.

If you have questions about your drug possession and the possible penalties, feel free to contact us. We are here to help.


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