Misdemeanor Drug Offenses

Misdemeanor Drug Charges In Columbus And Central Ohio

Even if the offense is a misdemeanor, a conviction for a drug crime can have a significant impact on your life. In addition to the sentence imposed by the court, which always includes a driver’s license suspension, a misdemeanor drug conviction in Ohio will be a criminal record that has secondary effects such as employment opportunities, professional licensing, insurance, and student financial aid. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor drug offense and would like the opportunity to avoid or limit those consequences, contact a criminal defense attorney with experience defending clients against misdemeanor drug charges in Columbus and central Ohio.

Attorney For Misdemeanor Drug Crimes

As a criminal defense attorney in Columbus since 1997, I have represented hundreds of clients charged with misdemeanor drug offenses. My practice is focused exclusively on criminal defense, and my experience ranges from minor misdemeanor marijuana possession to first degree felony drug trafficking. I practice in Franklin County, Delaware County, and other counties throughout central Ohio.

Misdemeanor Drug Offenses and Sentences

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, but there is still a mandatory driver’s license suspension and the other 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, and there is no possible jail time or probation. 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 possession of 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, carrying 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 fairly complex. What is presented in this website is an informational summary and is not intended to be a comprehensive reproduction of Ohio drug laws (which may take dozens of pages).

Strategies For Defending Clients With Misdemeanor Drug Charges

As a lawyer for misdemeanor drug offenses, I take a two-part approach. First, I explore the possibility of a diversion program or an intervention program that can result in the charge being dismissed with no conviction. Second, I review the prosecution’s evidence to evaluate the case strength, examine possible defenses, and determine the best way to proceed. There may be things about the case that 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 without a conviction. 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

I have been practicing criminal defense since 1997, and I have 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 that is not a drug-related offense (and therefore does not have the mandatory license suspension), and we are often able to get the records for the case sealed (expunged).

If you would like more information about me, please see my profile. If you would like more information about my practice, please see the firm overview. You can also see what clients say and review my past case results. I accept a limited number of cases so I can give each client the attention and service I would want as a client. I charge flat fees for misdemeanor drug cases, so you will know the exact fee before my representation begins, and credit cards are accepted. If you would like to discuss how I can help with your misdemeanor drug offense charges, EMAIL ME or call me at 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.