Cincinnati Drug Trafficking Lawyer

Have you been arrested for drug trafficking in Cincinnati, OH? When you are facing a serious felony drug offense, it’s important to act quickly to protect your rights and begin building a defense. An experienced Cincinnati drug trafficking lawyer at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers is here to help.

For more than 20 years, our Cincinnati criminal defense law firm has represented clients against all types of serious drug offenses. Call our law office today at (513) 333-0014 for a free consultation to learn how we will use our decades of legal insight and expertise to defend you.

How Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help When You’re Arrested for Drug Trafficking

Drug offenses are taken very seriously in Ohio with harsh penalties. When you are accused of drug trafficking, the prosecution will aggressively pursue maximum penalties with little sympathy for your circumstances. You deserve an experienced legal advocate in your corner to fight back.

The Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers have more than 100 years of combined legal experience. Our team includes a former police officer and former prosecutor who will put their decades of insight to work on your defense strategy. We understand the tactics the prosecution will use against you. 

You can count on Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers to:

  • Offer the legal advice you need at every stage of your case
  • Protect your constitutional rights
  • Investigate whether your rights were violated and seek to have evidence excluded
  • Build a strong defense that combines expert testimony, positive evidence, cross-examination, evidentiary challenges, and sound arguments
  • Negotiate to have charges dismissed or reduced
  • Seek an acquittal or the most lenient sentencing possible 

A trafficking charge can be intimidating, but Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers is here for you. Call our law office in Cincinnati, Ohio, today to schedule a free consultation with a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer to help.

What Is Drug Trafficking in Ohio?

Drug trafficking is a criminal offense under Ohio Revised Code § 2925.03. Trafficking is classified as selling, packaging for delivery, or offering a “controlled substance.” 

You may be charged with trafficking if you:

  • Knowingly sell or offer a controlled substance or a chemically similar substance
  • Knowingly distribute or prepare for transport, shipment, or delivery a controlled substance 

Drug trafficking is typically a fifth-degree felony in Cincinnati.

What Is a Controlled Substance in Ohio?

Under Ohio law, controlled substances are classified under five schedules. These schedules are defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 3719.01. Drugs are classified based on potential for addiction and abuse, public health danger, pharmacological effects, scientific knowledge, and whether it has known medical uses.

Schedule I drugs are those with no accepted use and a high potential for abuse. Common Schedule I drugs include:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • Peyote 

Schedule II drugs are also considered dangerous with some medical benefits but a high risk of abuse and dependence. Schedule II drugs include:

  • Adderall
  • Vicodin
  • Methadone
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Oxycodone 

Schedule III drugs have medical uses with only a low to moderate risk of dependence. Ketamine, testosterone, anabolic steroids, and Tylenol with codeine are common examples.

Schedule IV drugs have medical benefits and a low risk for abuse and dependence. Tramadol, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Ambien are Schedule IV drugs in Ohio.

Schedule V drugs have a much lower risk for abuse and are generally prepared with small quantities of narcotics. Lyrica is an example of a Schedule V drug.

What Is a Bulk Amount of a Controlled Substance in Ohio?

The amount of a controlled substance can be used to determine whether an aggravated trafficking offense will be charged and the degree of the offense. Under Ohio law, enhanced penalties apply when the amount of drugs exceeds the “bulk amount.”

The bulk amounts for Schedule I, II, and III drugs are:

  • 10 doses or 1 gram of heroin
  • 100 grams of marijuana
  • 5 grams of cocaine
  • 10 grams or 25 units of Schedule I opiates and derivatives
  • 10 grams of compounds with raw opium
  • 20 grams or 5x the maximum daily dose of compounds with Schedule II opiates and derivatives

If the amount is equal to or exceeds the bulk amount, it becomes aggravated trafficking, a third-degree felony.

Aggravated Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is one of the most serious drug offenses in Cincinnati. However, it may be upgraded to aggravated drug trafficking. Aggravated trafficking is charged for offenses involving Schedule I and II drugs excluding marijuana, LSD, fentanyl, cocaine, hashish, and analogs. It may also be charged when there are certain aggravating factors or controlled substances above a certain amount. 

Aggravated trafficking is usually a fourth-degree felony. However, aggravating factors can enhance the charge. You can be charged with third-degree aggravated trafficking for selling drugs around a school or a juvenile. Trafficking is also a third-degree felony when the amount of drugs exceeds the “bulk amount” but is less than five times the bulk amount.

The offense may also be elevated to a second-degree felony for a second aggravated trafficking offense around a juvenile or school.

If the amount is between 5x and 50x the bulk amount, the offense becomes a second-degree felony. It is elevated to a first-degree felony at this amount if the trafficking occurred around a juvenile or school.

It is also a first-degree trafficking offense if the amount is between 50x and 100x the bulk amount. For amounts exceeding 100x the bulk amount, it is still a first-degree felony, but you can be classified as a “major drug offender.”

What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Cincinnati, Ohio?

Drug trafficking is always a serious felony charge in Cincinnati with harsh penalties for conviction. The penalties you face will depend on whether you are charged with trafficking or aggravated trafficking, the amount of the drug, and whether the offense occurred near a school or minor.

Trafficking ranges from a fifth-degree felony to a first-degree felony with the following possible prison sentences.

  • First-degree felony: 3 to 11 years in prison
  • Second-degree felony: 2 to 8 years in prison
  • Third-degree felony: 1 to 5 years in prison
  • Fourth-degree felony: 6 to 18 months in prison
  • Fifth-degree felony: 6 to 12 months in prison

In some cases of trafficking, a prison sentence will be mandatory. For example, aggravated trafficking comes with an expectation of a prison term. Also, you will face a mandatory maximum prison sentence if you have two or more prior felony drug offenses.

If you are classified as a “major drug offender” or MDO, you are facing a first-degree felony and a mandatory 11-year prison sentence. MDO offenses in Ohio usually involve offenses with very high amounts of controlled substances, such as 100 grams of cocaine or 500 grams of LSD.

In addition to a lengthy prison sentence and high fines, you may face collateral consequences of a trafficking conviction. This can include license suspension or revocation and loss of a professional license. A drug conviction can also impact your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, and qualify for government benefits.

Finally, drug trafficking is a state and federal offense. In addition to state charges, you may face federal drug charges for trafficking. In this case, your case will be heard by a federal court with harsher potential penalties.

What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Drug Trafficking in Cincinnati, OH?

When you are facing a serious Cincinnati drug charge, it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible to work on a strong defense. Trafficking is considered more serious than drug possession, and you have a lot on the line. Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers will help you build the strongest defense strategy possible to fight for your freedom or secure more lenient sentencing.

Your Cincinnati drug trafficking defense lawyer will begin by investigating the circumstances of your arrest and the investigation. We will determine if your constitutional rights were violated. If evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure of your home or car, we will fight to have it suppressed. We will also argue that evidence obtained through unlawful interrogation should be excluded.

To investigate possible police misconduct, we will consider whether:

  • Law enforcement did not have a valid search warrant
  • Police did not have a valid reason for a traffic stop
  • You were not read your Miranda rights
  • You were not allowed to contact a lawyer before interrogation
  • You were harassed, coerced, or misled into making a false confession

You may also have a defense if the drugs did not belong to you or you were an unwitting participant in trafficking. For a conviction, the prosecutor must show you had knowledge of the controlled substance and possession. You may have been tricked into transporting drugs or unaware that a passenger had controlled substances or was selling them.

Another possible defense is arguing the drugs were for personal use, not for sale or transport. Depending on the quantity, it may be possible to argue the defense that there was no intent to distribute.

Contact a Cincinnati Drug Trafficking Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Do not take drug trafficking charges lightly. When you are facing a long prison sentence and the lifelong consequences of a drug conviction, you deserve the best possible legal defense. Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers will fight for you and offer the skilled legal representation you need.

Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case review with an aggressive Cincinnati drug trafficking lawyer who will help you level the playing field with the prosecution.