Whether a drug offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony crime, a conviction can come with severe consequences, including jail time, which can make it difficult to find housing or secure employment upon release. Unfortunately, people are unfairly accused, charged, and convicted of drug-related offenses at an alarming rate. If you have been accused of committing this type of crime in Ohio, it is important that you speak with an experienced Huber Heights drug charge lawyer who can ensure that you are not penalized for a crime that you did not commit.
Every state in the nation has laws on their books that criminalize drug use, along with drug possession and the manufacture, sale, and distribution of controlled substances. There are federal drug laws that will apply to your case, as well. These laws are often difficult to navigate, especially because the penalties faced by a defendant accused of a drug offense depend upon a number of factors, including the type and amount of the drug in question, as well as the person’s prior criminal record. For this reason, it is important for those who have been accused of committing a drug crime in state court to contact an Ohio drug charge lawyer who can evaluate their case and help them obtain the best possible outcome.
Ohio law groups prohibited drugs into categories, with Schedule I drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, and LSD considered the most dangerous type of drugs and Schedule V drugs, such as cough medicine containing less than 200 mg of codeine, considered the least dangerous. Generally, the schedule to which a drug that a person is found in possession of belongs, as well as the activity that he or she was allegedly involved in at the time of the offense, will determine the severity of the penalties he or she faces.
Ohio groups different drug-related activities into the following categories:
Like the various categories of controlled substances, some of these prohibited activities are considered more serious than others. Drug trafficking, for example, which also qualifies as a federal crime if it involves travel across state lines, generally comes with more severe penalties than mere possession.
Again, how drug crimes are penalized depends on a number of different factors, including:
A charge will either qualify as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how these factors apply in a specific case. Generally, misdemeanor offenses are punished less severely. A first-degree misdemeanor drug crime, for example, could be punishable by imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000, while a fifth-degree felony drug charge (the least serious type of felony) could result in incarceration for up to 12 months and a fine of $2,500.
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