Prescription Drug Offenses

Prescription Drug Offenses In Columbus And Central Ohio

As abuse of prescription drugs has increased in Columbus Ohio and the central Ohio area, laws have gotten tougher, and charges for these offenses have been filed with increasing frequency. Even if use of the drug is due to a genuine need and began with a legitimate prescription, a conviction for a prescription drug crime in Ohio can significantly impact your life. In addition to the punishment imposed in court, which includes a mandatory driver’s license suspension, a drug-related conviction on your record will have secondary consequences related to professional licensing, employment opportunities, student financial aid, and insurance. If you have been charged with a prescription drug offense in Columbus or central Ohio and hope to possibly avoid or reduce those consequences, contact a criminal defense attorney with experience defending clients with these charges.

Attorney For Prescription Drug Charges

I have been a criminal defense lawyer in Columbus since 1997, and I have represented many clients charged with prescription drug offenses. I only practice criminal defense, and I accept a limited number of cases so I can give each client the service and attention I would want as a client. I practice in Franklin County, Delaware County, and other counties throughout central Ohio.

Prescription Drug Crimes and Sentences

Deception to Obtain Dangerous Drugs. Ohio law makes it illegal to obtain a dangerous drug or a prescription for a dangerous drug by deception. The level of this offense and the potential sentence depends on the category of the drug and the amount of the drug. For drugs in Schedule III, Schedule IV and Schedule V, the offense ranges from a fifth degree felony (up to one year in prison) to a second degree felony (up to eight years in prison). For drugs in Schedule I and Schedule II, the offense ranges from a fourth degree felony (up to 18 months in prison) to a first degree felony (up to eleven years in prison).

Ohio law also prohibits possessing an uncompleted preprinted blank prescription. This type of the offense is a fifth degree felony punishable by up to one year in prison. All convictions for Deception to Obtain Dangerous Drugs in Ohio have a mandatory driver’s license suspension up to five years and possible probation for up to five years.

Illegal Processing of Drug Documents. Ohio law makes it illegal to do the following: (1) make a false statement in a prescription (and certain other documents); (2) make, sell or possess a fake or forged prescription (and certain other things); (3) acquire a prescription (and certain other documents) by theft; and (4) make or affix a false or forged label to a receptacle containing a dangerous drug. The level of this offense and the potential sentence depends how the offense was committed, the category of the drug, and the amount of the drug. This offense ranges from a fifth degree felony (up to one year in prison) to a fourth degree felony (up to 18 months in prison). All convictions for Illegal Processing of Drug Documents in Ohio have a mandatory driver’s license suspension up to five years and possible probation for up to five years.

Illegal Dispensing of Drug Samples. Ohio law prohibits furnishing another person with a sample drug. This offense may be a first degree misdemeanor (up to six months in jail), a fifth degree felony (up to 12 months in prison), or a fourth degree felony (up to 18 months in prison), depending on the type and amount of drug involved. A conviction for Illegal Dispensing Of Drug Samples in Ohio carries a mandatory driver’s license suspension up to five years and potential probation for up to five years.

Forgery. Ohio law makes it illegal to do any of the following with the purpose to defraud: (1) for any writing of another person without that person’s authority; (2) forge any writing so it purports to be genuine when it actually is spurious; (3) utter or possess with purpose to utter, any writing the person knows to have been forged. Forgery in Ohio is typically a fifth degree felony, and the potential punishment includes a possible prison sentence up to one year and probation up to five years. Unlike the other offenses related to prescription drugs, Forgery does not involve a mandatory driver’s license suspension.

Disclaimer: The offense levels and potential sentences for prescription 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 prescription drug laws.

Strategies For Defending Clients With Prescription Drug Charges

When I represent a client for prescription drug offenses, we approach the case in two ways. First, we explore the availability of a diversion program or Intervention In Lieu Of Conviction that can lead to the charges being dismissed without a conviction. Second, we obtain the evidence the prosecutor intends to introduce so we can make a fully informed decision about how to proceed. How we proceed depends on the availability of diversion or Intervention In Lieu Of Conviction, the strength of the evidence, and possible defenses. The primary objective is to get the charges dismissed. If dismissal is not a possibility, the next objective is to either achieve a favorable plea agreement or take the case to trial.

Representation For Prescription Drug Crimes In Columbus And Central Ohio

As a criminal defense attorney since 1997, I have represented several clients charged with prescription drug offenses in Franklin County, Delaware County, and other counties in the central Ohio area. We are often able to get prescription drug charges dismissed or amended to lesser offenses, and clients are often able to get the records for these cases sealed (expunged).

For more information about me, please see my profile, and for more information about my practice, please read the firm overview. You can also see what clients say and review my past case results. I charge flat fees for prescription drug cases, so you will know the total fee before my representation begins, and credit cards are accepted. If you would like to discuss your prescription drug offense case, EMAIL ME or call me at 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.