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Possession of a Controlled Substance

Ohio has been one of the leaders in the country’s drug epidemic for the last few years. To combat this issue, law enforcement is now on high alert for Ohioans in possession of a controlled substance.

Most of those caught in possession of a controlled substance pose no threat to society, yet they are treated like hardened criminals. Possession of a controlled substance is not a charge that should be taken lightly. Depending on the drug and its amount, you could be spending a decade behind bars.

Columbus, OH Possession of a Controlled Substance Defense Attorney

No matter the drug found in your possession, Joslyn Law Firm is here to help. We understand your livelihood is on the line, which is why we vow to aggressively fight on your behalf. Schedule a confidential consultation today. Call (614) 300 - 3025.

Joslyn Law Firm defends those accused of possession of a controlled substance in central Ohio counties such as Franklin County, Delaware County, Union County and Madison County.


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Ohio’s Drug Possession Laws

Prosecutors are required to prove you were in possession of a controlled substance to convict you of the offense. Possession comes in two forms: actual and constructive. If prosecutors are unable to prove you were in possession of the drug, the charges against you may be reduced or dropped.

To be convicted on the grounds of actual possession, the illegal substance must have been found in your actual, physical control. An example of actual physical possession would involve the substance being in the pocket of your jeans or purse.

Constructive possession is harder to prove than actual possession. This form of possession doesn’t involve the drug being on your person, but instead, knowing where the substance is and having control over it. Having marijuana in a safe would be considered a form of constructive possession.


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Is Marijuana a Controlled Substance in Ohio?

Cities across Ohio may have decriminalized marijuana, but the plant remains a controlled substance under the eyes of state law. In fact, marijuana is still classified as a schedule I drug, meaning the state believes the substance has no accepted medical benefits and has a high potential for abuse.

With the increase in popularity of marijuana use, Ohio also saw a rise in the arrest for possession of the plant. To devote more resources to more severe crimes, Ohio has taken steps to lessen the penalties for possession of marijuana.

Marijuana possession is charged based on the weight of the substance. Listed in the table below are the possible penalties for possession of marijuana in Ohio:

Weight

ClassificationIncarceration

Fine

Less than 100 gMinor misdemeanorNoneUp to $150
100 g or more but less than 200 gFourth-degree misdemeanorUp to 30 daysUp to $250
200 g or more but less than 1,000 gFifth-degree

felony

Up to 1 yearUp to $2,500
1,000 g or more but less than 5,000 gThird-degree felonyUp to 3 yearsUp to $10,000
5,000 g or more but less than 20,000 gThird-degree felonyPresumption of up to 3 yearsUp to $10,000
20,000 g or more but less than 40,000 gSecond-degree felonyUp to 8 yearsUp to $15,000
40,000 g or moreSecond-degree felonyMandatory minimum of 8 yearsUp to $15,000

 

Presumption of incarceration simply means it’s presumed you will be spending time behind bars if convicted. Incarceration entails just about every crime, but it’s not always assumed a guilty party will go to jail. A presumption charge also allows a judge to increase or decrease the amount of time behind bars based on your criminal record.


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What are the Penalties for Possession of Cocaine in Ohio?

Possession of cocaine is illegal across the United States, including Ohio. The drug is classified as a schedule II substance, but possession of cocaine is more heavily penalized than possession of marijuana, which is a schedule I drug.

You will be charged with a felony no matter how much cocaine is found in your possession. Listed in the table are the penalties for possession of cocaine in Ohio. 

Weight

ClassificationIncarceration

Fine

Less than 5 gFifth-degree felonyUp to 1 yearUp to $2,500
5 g or more but less than 10 gFourth-degree felonyUp to 18 monthsUp to $5,000
10 g or more but less than20 gThird-degree felonyPresumption of up to 3 yearsUp to $10,000
20 g or more but less than 27 gSecond-degree felonyMandatory term of up to 8 yearsUp to $15,000
27 g or more but less than 100 gFirst-degree felonyMandatory term of up to 11 yearsUp to $20,000
100 g or moreFirst-degree felonyMandatory minimum of 11 yearsUp to $20,000

Possessing 100 grams or more of cocaine will result in you be labeled as a major drug offender. As a major offender, you will experience enhanced sentencing. Prosecutors will also come after you with more force, so an experienced defense attorney is vital.


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Heroin Possession

Ohio is at the heart of the United States’ heroin epidemic. The Buckeye State has seen a momentous growth in heroin overdose death over the last decade. In fact, the state is second in the nation for overdose deaths from heroin.

To combat this issue, Ohio has enacted stiff heroin laws. Because the substance is a schedule I drug, possessing even the smallest amount of heroin is a felony offense. Listed in the chart below are the possible penalties for possession of heroin.

Weight

ClassificationIncarceration

Fines

Less than 1 gFifth-degree felonyUp to 1 yearUp to $2,500
1 g or more but less than 5 gFourth-degree felonyUp to 18 monthsUp to $5,000
5 g or more but less than 10 gThird-degree felonyPresumption of up to 3 yearsUp to $10,000
10 g or more but less than 50 gSecond-degree felonyMandatory term of up to 8 yearsUp to $15,000
50 g or more but less than 100 gFirst-degree felonyMandatory term of up to 11 yearsUp to $20,000
100 g or moreFirst-degree felonyMandatory minimum of 11 yearsUp to $20,000

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What is Aggravated Possession?

Marijuana, cocaine, heroin and L.S.D are the most commonly possessed controlled substance in Ohio. Possessing such drugs are penalized separately from possessing any other schedule I or schedule II substance. Being caught in possession of a schedule I or schedule II drug other than marijuana, cocaine, heroin and L.S.D, is considered aggravated possession.

The remainder of schedule I and II substances are prescription drugs, so they are penalized based on their bulk amount. The bulk amount varies by drug, but it’s determined by the dosage of the pill rather than total weight.

Listed in the table below are the penalties for aggravated possession:

Bulk Amount

ClassificationIncarceration

Fine

Less than bulk amountFifth-degree felonyUp to 1 yearUp to $2,500
Bulk amount or more but less than 5X the bulk amountThird-degree felonyPresumption of up to 3 yearsUp to $10,000
5X the bulk amount or more but less than 50X the bulk amountSecond-degree felonyMandatory term of up to 8 yearsUp to $15,000
50X the bulk amount or more but less than 100X the bulk amountFirst-degree felonyMandatory term of up to 11 yearsUp to $20,000
100X bulk amount or moreFirst-degree felonyMandatory minimum of 11 yearUp to $20,000

 


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Possession of Schedule III, IV or V Drugs

Schedule III, IV and V drugs are not considered as harmful as schedule I and II substance, but possession is still heavily penalized. Drugs in these schedules include certain stimulants, depressants and anabolic steroids.

As with aggravated possession, possession of schedule III, IV and V drugs are penalized based on their bulk amount. According to the Revised Code, possession of schedule III, IV and V substance are penalized by the following:

Bulk AmountClassificationIncarcerationFine
Less than bulk amountMinor misdemeanorNoneUp to $150
Bulk amount or more but less than 5X bulk amountFourth-degree felonyUp to 18 monthsUp to $5,000
5X or more but less than 50X bulk amountThird-degree felonyPresumption of up to 3 yearsUp to $10,000
50X bulk amount or moreSecond-degree felonyMandatory term of up to 8 yearsUp to $15,000

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Additional Resources for Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a Controlled Substance | Ohio Revised Code – Read the section of the Revised code over the penalties for possession of a controlled substance. You can gain access to a complete list of penalties for possession of all controlled substances. You can also learn about situations where you cannot be arrested or charged with possession.

Controlled Substance Schedule | Ohio Revised Code – Visit the Ohio Laws and Rules website to read through the section of the Revised Code over controlled substances. You can view an exhaustive list of controlled substances by schedule.


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Columbus, OH Possession of a Controlled Substance Defense Attorney

Brian Joslyn along with his award-winning criminal defense team has helped hundreds of clients just like you. We will listen to your story and formulate a defense plan in your best interest.

Call (614) 300 - 3025 to schedule a confidential consultation. Joslyn Law Firm defends those accused of possession of a controlled substance in areas such as Pickaway County, Fairfield County and Licking County.


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Joslyn Law Firm