Our lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC have over 100 years of combined experience aggressively fighting for our clients facing drug possession crimes. We stand ready to put our proven expertise to work for you.
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How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help if You Were Arrested for Drug Possession in Cincinnati
You might not know what to expect if you’ve been arrested for drug possession. When it comes to drug possession cases in Cincinnati, Ohio, the experience of your lawyer matters. Police and prosecutors take these cases seriously. If you’ve been charged, they’ll do everything possible to convict.
You deserve an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer in your corner. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we know the criminal justice system in Ohio. We’ve successfully handled thousands of drug possession cases over the years.
When you hire us, expect a lawyer who will:
- Actively work to protect your constitutional rights
- Help you understand your legal options and rights
- Negotiate with prosecutors to get the best deal possible
- Work tirelessly to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case
Our Cincinnati criminal defense attorneys have one primary goal in every case: getting your charges dropped. If that’s not possible, we’ll launch an aggressive defense to minimize any penalties you might face.
You don’t have to go it alone if you’re facing criminal charges. Call our experienced legal team today to schedule a free case review and learn how we’ll fight to protect your future.
Overview of Drug Possession Laws in Ohio
Section 2925.11 of the Ohio criminal code makes it illegal to knowingly obtain, possess or use a controlled substance–including prescription drugs. In most cases, drug possession in Ohio is a misdemeanor or a fifth-degree felony. However, the charges can be upgraded depending upon the circumstances.
The severity of the offense depends upon two primary factors:
- The amount of drug found in your possession
- The type of controlled substance and its classification
Ohio classifies controlled dangerous substances (CDS) according to five different schedules, depending to how dangerous the drug is.
Drugs are generally measured by weight. In Ohio, the amount of drug in question is measured by referencing a “bulk amount.” The bulk amount can vary depending upon the drug involved. This measurement can be extremely important in drug possession cases. If it’s off by even a small amount, your charges could be elevated–meaning more jail time and higher fines.
Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V CDS
Schedule III, IV, and V drugs have a low to moderate potential for abuse. These drugs might also have accepted medical uses.
- Ketamine and anabolic steroids are classified as Schedule III CDS
- Xanax, Ambien, Valium, and similar drugs are Schedule IV CDS
- Schedule V CDS carry the lowest potential for abuse–and include cough suppressants and other low-risk medications
Possession of these types of drugs can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances.
The Ohio legislature now allows medical use of marijuana with an approved license. If you’re caught with even a small amount of marijuana and don’t have a license, you can still face criminal charges, as follows:
- Less than 100 grams is a “minor” misdemeanor
- Greater than or equal to 100 grams, but less than 200 grams, is a fourth-degree misdemeanor
- Greater than or equal to 200 grams, but less than 1,000 grams, is a fifth-degree felony
- Greater than or equal to 1,000 grams, but less than 20,000 grams, is a third-degree felony
- Greater than or equal to 20,000 grams is a second-degree felony
Even misdemeanor-level drug crimes will show up on your criminal record. Regardless of how your marijuana possession charges are graded, it’s important to have an aggressive Cincinnati drug possession attorney in your corner.
Cocaine is technically classified as a Schedule II CDS in Ohio. However, it’s exempted from the aggravated drug possession law. Possession of cocaine is generally a fifth-degree felony. However, it can be graded upward depending upon the amount in possession, as follows:
- Possession of at least five grams, but less than ten grams, of cocaine is a fourth-degree felony
- Possession of at least ten grams, but less than 20 grams, of cocaine is a third-degree felony
- Possession of at least 20 grams, but less than 27 grams, of cocaine is a second-degree felony
- Possession of at least 27 grams but less than 100 grams of cocaine is a first-degree felony
- Possession of 100 grams or more of cocaine is a first-degree felony, the offender will be classified as a major drug offender, and the court must impose as a mandatory prison term a maximum first degree felony mandatory prison term
First, second and third-degree cocaine possession charges carry a presumption of prison time. In fact, in more serious cases, the law imposes the maximum mandatory prison sentence that applies to the felony charge.
Aggravated Drug Possession Charges
Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are considered the most dangerous–and carry a high potential for abuse and dependence. Schedule I drugs include heroin, ecstasy, LSD, and even marijuana. Methamphetamines, cocaine, oxycodone, and fentanyl are all examples of Schedule II drugs.
With the exception of marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, hashish, and certain “analog” compounds, possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug will be charged as aggravated drug possession.
Depending upon the amount of drug in your possession, you could be facing first, second, third, or fifth degree felony charges.
If you’re found in possession of a very large amount of Schedule I or Schedule II CDS, you could be labeled a major drug offender. The law presumes that major drug offenders are involved in drug trafficking operations. The mandatory maximum first-degree prison term will apply if convicted.
Federal Drug Possession Laws
Most people who are arrested in Ohio will be prosecuted under state drug possession laws. Despite this, the federal government also has authority to charge suspects with drug possession under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Both Ohio state and federal laws classify drugs according to schedule. Possession of more serious Schedule I or Schedule II CDS carries harsher penalties.
If you’ve been charged with a federal drug crime, call our law offices to learn more about how we can help.
What are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Cincinnati, Ohio?
Conviction on drug possession charges in Cincinnati is serious. Depending on the amount and type of drug involved, you could be facing years–or even decades–in Ohio state prison.
Below are the potential jail sentence and fines you might face if convicted on misdemeanor-level drug crime charges in Ohio:
- Minor misdemeanor: $150 fine and no jail time
- Fourth-degree misdemeanor: $250 fine and 30 days in jail
- Third-degree misdemeanor: $500 fine and 60 days in jail
- Second-degree misdemeanor: $750 fine and 90 days in jail
- First-degree misdemeanor: $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail
The following more serious penalties apply in felony drug possession cases:
- Fifth-degree felony: $2,500 in fines and six to 12 months in prison
- Fourth-degree felony: $5,000 in fines and six to 18 months in prison
- Third-degree felony: $10,000 in fines and one to five years in prison
- Second-degree felony: between $7,500 and $15,000 in fines, and between two and eight years in prison
- First-degree felony: up to $20,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison
Repeat offenders can be subject to even harsher prison sentences. If convicted, you’ll also face driver’s license suspension, community service, and a permanent criminal record.
How the drug offense graded can be critical to your punishment. Call our lawyers in Cincinnati for legal advice today. We’ll talk more about establishing an attorney client relationship so that we can work to have your case dismissed if at all possible.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Drug Possession?
Criminal defendants in the state of Ohio are innocent until proven guilty. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we take an aggressive approach to build a strong defense in every case we take on.
Possible defense strategies that could work in your favor include:
- Challenges to the amount of drug in your possession
- Lack of probable cause to search your vehicle or property for drugs (fourth amendment violations)
- Illegally obtained confessions or statements
- Challenges to whether the substance in your possession was actually a CDS
- Challenges to witness credibility
- Lack of knowledge that the drug was in your possession
Prosecutors must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense lawyer’s goal is to make that as difficult as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about how an experienced lawyer can help, call our law firm for a free consultation today.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Cincinnati Drug Possession Lawyer
Arrested on Ohio drug possession charges? Call an experienced Cincinnati drug possession lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC today. We offer a free case review so that you can learn more about how we’ll fight to protect your legal rights.