Misdemeanor Drug Offenses In Ohio

Misdemeanor Drug Charges In Ohio
Even if the offense is a misdemeanor, a conviction for an Ohio drug crime can have a significant impact on your life.  First, there is the sentence imposed by the court, which may include jail time, a fine, probation, and a driver license suspension.  Second, there are the collateral consequences, including a criminal record which may affect employment opportunities, professional licensing, insurance, and student financial aid.  If you have been charged with a misdemeanor drug crime and would like the opportunity to avoid or limit those consequences, consider hiring a criminal defense attorney for misdemeanor drug offenses in Columbus and central Ohio.

Attorneys For Misdemeanor Drug Crimes In Columbus And Central Ohio
Since 1997, the Dominy Law Firm has represented hundreds of clients charged with misdemeanor drug offenses.  Our practice is focused exclusively on criminal defense, and our experience ranges from minor misdemeanor marijuana possession to first degree felony drug trafficking.  We practice in Franklin County, Delaware County, and other counties throughout central Ohio.

Misdemeanor Drug Offenses and Sentences In Columbus And Central Ohio
Marijuana Offenses:  If you are charged with marijuana possession or cultivation and the amount of marijuana involved is less than 200 grams, the offense is a misdemeanor.  For more information, please see the page of this website for marijuana offenses.

Drug Paraphernalia Possession Or Use:  Ohio law makes it illegal to possess, sell, or manufacture (with the purpose to sell) drug paraphernalia.  Drug paraphernalia includes anything used, intended to be used, or designed for use with controlled substances.  If the drug paraphernalia is not for marijuana, drug paraphernalia possession in Ohio is categorized as a fourth degree misdemeanor, carrying up to 30 days in jail and up to five years of probation.  If the drug paraphernalia is for marijuana, drug paraphernalia possession is classified as a minor misdemeanor, which means there is not the potential jail sentence or probation.  With any type of drug paraphernalia charge in Ohio, there is a possible driver license suspension, as well as the  secondary consequences of a drug-related conviction. 

Hashish Possession:  Ohio law prohibits hashish possession.  If the amount of hashish possessed is less than five grams (solid) or two grams (liquid), hashish possession in Ohio is a minor misdemeanor.  If the amount of hashish possessed is between five grams and ten grams (solid) or one gram and two grams (liquid), hashish possession in Ohio is a fourth degree misdemeanor carrying up to 30 days in jail and five years of probation.

Possessing Drug Abuse Instruments.  Ohio law makes it illegal to possess, make, obtain or use anything that has the primary purpose of administering dangerous drugs.  Possessing drug abuse instruments in Ohio is classified as a second degree misdemeanor with a potential sentence that includes up to 90 days in jail and up to five years of probation.

Possessing Controlled Substances.  Ohio law prohibits possessing controlled substances without a valid prescription.  If the controlled substance involved is in Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V and is less than the ‘bulk amount’, the offense is a first degree misdemeanor.  That means the sentence may include a jail term up to six months, a fine up to $1,000, and probation for up to five years.  If the controlled substance involved is in Schedule I or Schedule II, or if the amount is more than the bulk amount, possessing controlled substances in Ohio is a felony.  The level of the felony offense and the potential sentence increase with the amount of the substance possessed.

Possessing Counterfeit Controlled Substances:  Ohio law prohibits possessing counterfeit controlled substances, as well as selling or offering to sell controlled substances.  This offense is a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio, which means it carries up to six months in jail and up to five years of probation.

Abusing Harmful Intoxicants.  Ohio law makes it illegal to obtain, possess, or use harmful intoxicants with the purpose to induce intoxication or similar psychological effects.  A violation of this law is a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio, punishable by up to six months in jail and probation for up to five years. 

Permitting Drug Abuse.  Ohio law makes it illegal for a vehicle owner or operator to permit the vehicle to be used for the commission of a felony drug offense.  Ohio law also makes it illegal for the owner or occupant of real estate to permit the real estate to be used for the commission of a felony drug offense.  Typically, this offense is a first degree misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail.  If, however, the felony drug offense committed is Corrupting Another With Drugs or Drug Trafficking, then Permitting Drug Abuse in Ohio is a fifth degree felony carrying up to one year in prison.

Disclaimer:  The offense levels and potential sentences for misdemeanor drug offenses are somewhat complex.  What is presented in this website is an informational summary and is not intended to be a comprehensive reproduction of Ohio misdemeanor drug laws.  In addition, the Ohio legislature may change these details at any time.  This summary is accurate as of the publication of this website page.

Strategies For Defense Of Misdemeanor Drug Charges
As lawyers for misdemeanor drug offenses, we take a two-part approach.  First, we explore the possibility of a diversion program or an intervention program that can result in the charge being dismissed.  Second, we review the prosecution’s evidence to evaluate the case strength, examine possible defenses, and determine the best way to proceed.  There may be factors about the case which present problems for the prosecution, such as illegal search and seizure, Fifth amendment violations, legal possession issues, chain of custody issues, identification problems, and errors in analysis and measurement.  The first goal is always to try to get the case dismissed.  If dismissal is not an option, we decide if the best resolution is a plea agreement or a trial.

Representation For Misdemeanor Drug Crimes In Columbus And Central Ohio
The Dominy Law Firm has represented several clients, including many students, charged with misdemeanor drug offenses in Franklin County, Delaware County, mayor’s courts, and other courts in the central Ohio area.  In many cases, we are able to get the charges dismissed or amended to something which is not a drug-related offense, and we are often able to get the records for the case sealed (expunged).  We accept a limited number of cases so we can give each client personal service.  Our firm charges flat fees for misdemeanor drug cases, so you will know the exact fee before representation begins, and credit cards are accepted.  If you would like to discuss how we can help with your misdemeanor drug offense charges, please submit a CONTACT FORM or call 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.

Testimonials
★★★★★
"Shawn is a wonderful person and an elite attorney. Being represented by him gives you complete peace of mind knowing you are in good hands, with..." M.A.
★★★★★
"Shawn Dominy quickly displayed his expertise in defending OVI cases at a level that made me immediately comfortable in my decision to..." K.G.
★★★★★
"I was looking at a Physical control OVI charge. License suspension, 3 day class, all that. Shawn got it reduced to persistent disorderly conduct. I paid a fine, saw..." Y.E.