Toledo Drug Crimes Lawyer

Have you been charged with or arrested for a drug crime? Unfortunately, they are among the worst criminal charges you can face in Ohio, especially where drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, or large quantities of marijuana are involved.

If you have been charged with any drug crime, you should consult with a Toledo drug crimes lawyer from Patituce & Associates. At our law firm, we have been trusted by numerous clients for legal representation against drug-related charges.

Our Toledo criminal defense attorneys are extremely knowledgeable about drug crime laws in Ohio and put this knowledge to work as we fight for your rights and freedom. Call us today at 419-737-4556 to request a free consultation and to learn how we can protect your rights if you have been arrested for a drug crime.

Table of Contents

Types of Drug Crimes

Ohio has different types of drug crimes, and each one attracts different penalties depending on the facts. Here are some of the various drug crimes and what is typically involved.

Possession

It is illegal for a person to knowingly be in possession of a controlled substance in Ohio. Under Ohio Statute Section 2925.11, the penalties for drug possession depend on the type of drug as well as the quantity the offender possesses.

If you are found in possession of a Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V controlled substance, your crime will be classified as possession of drugs. However, if you are found in possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, the crime may be classified as aggravated possession of drugs.

Possession With Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute or sell a drug is considered a serious criminal offense in the state. This charge usually involves being found in possession of a larger quantity of a controlled substance than you would typically expect someone would have for their own personal use.

Possession with intent to distribute, however, is an ambiguous charge because you may not have had the intention of selling a controlled substance. Instead, it may be interpreted from the quantity of the controlled substance found in your possession that you intended to distribute.

If you are convicted of possession with intent to distribute and the quantity of the controlled substance found in your possession is equal to or greater than 100 times the bulk amount, you will be charged with a first-degree felony that carries a prison term of up to 10 years and up to $20,000 in fines.

Prescription Fraud

Prescription fraud happens when people obtain medications through deception. It includes doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors, forging prescriptions, altering prescriptions, and obtaining prescriptions by portraying yourself as a physician.

Prescription fraud offenses are taken very seriously by both state and federal authorities with very serious consequences. The penalties for prescription fraud in Ohio depend on the situation. The level of the offense and the potential sentence is reliant on the category and quantity of the drug.

If the prescription fraud involved a Schedule III, IV, or V drug, the offense can be classified anywhere from a fifth-degree felony to a second-degree felony. If the fraud involved a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, however, the offense can be anywhere from a fourth-degree felony to a first-degree felony.

Cultivation/Manufacturing

Ohio law prohibits the cultivation of marijuana and the manufacturing of controlled substances. Manufacturing of controlled substances is classified as a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony depending on the type of drug manufactured and the quantity.

Ohio has heavy penalties for the manufacture or cultivation of drugs. For marijuana cases, the penalties increase radically as the quantity increases. Penalties for felony cultivation charges include the suspension of your driver’s license.

Image of marijuana plant, concept of Toledo drug crime lawyer

Transportation

The transportation of a controlled substance, often referred to as drug trafficking, is a serious crime in Ohio. According to Ohio Revised Code Section § 2925.03, it is unlawful for a person to knowingly ship, transport, sell, prepare, deliver, or distribute a controlled substance.

This law applies both to street drugs like cocaine and heroin and prescription medications like hydrocodone. The level of the crime and the possible penalties for drug trafficking charges in Ohio range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the type of the drug and the amount in bulk.

Sales

Drug dealing, as the sale of drugs is popularly known, is an umbrella term that includes the practice of drug trafficking, possession of drugs, and the intent to sell or distribute drugs. Some of the most common drugs involved in drug dealing charges are heroin, marijuana, crack cocaine, and crystal meth.

The penalties for drug dealing can be very stiff in Ohio. If your charges are particularly severe and you are unable to reach a deal with the prosecution, then the prison sentence you face could extend even to a life sentence. Furthermore, you and your family may face asset forfeiture.

Types of Drug Crimes - Patituce & Associates Toledo Drug Crimes Lawyer

Drugs and DUI

Driving under the influence of drugs or drugged driving in Ohio is punished in the same way as a standard alcohol-related DUI/OVI.

If it’s your first offense, it means a jail term of 3 days to 6 months, license suspension for a period of 1 to 3 years, a fine ranging from $375 to $1,075, probation for up to 5 years, and various other penalties that may be imposed.

If it is your second offense or more within 10 years, the penalties increase progressively. Furthermore, there are secondary consequences for having a DUI/OVI conviction on your permanent record.

Penalties for Drug Crimes in Ohio

The penalties faced by drug offenders in Ohio depend on the offense charged, the level of the offense, whether a weapon was used when the offense was committed, the type of drug, the quantity of the controlled substance, and whether the offense was committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile.

Here are the possible penalties for drug charges in Ohio:

  • Minor Misdemeanor: A Maximum fine of $150.
  • 4th Degree Misdemeanor: A $250 fine and 30 days in jail.
  • 3rd Degree Misdemeanor: A $500 fine and 60 days in jail.
  • 2nd Degree Misdemeanor: A $750 fine and 90 days in jail.
  • 1st Degree Misdemeanor: A $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail.
  • 5th Degree Felony: A $2,500 fine and 6 to 12 months in prison.
  • 4th Degree Felony: A $5,000 fine and 6 to 18 months in prison.
  • 3rd Degree Felony: A $10,000 fine and 9 months to 3 years in prison.
  • 2nd Degree Felony: A $15,000 fine and 2 to 8 years in prison.
  • 1st Degree Felony: A $20,000 fine and 3 to 11 years in prison.

Besides the penalties listed above, drug convictions in Ohio can lead to mandatory prison terms, driver’s license suspension, ineligibility for student loans, and being unable to hold professional positions, such as in the healthcare and state government fields.

Misdemeanor Vs. Felony Drug Charges in Ohio

Misdemeanor drug charges in Ohio are considered less serious than felony drug charges and typically carry milder sentences. Misdemeanor classifications go from minor misdemeanors to fourth-, third-, second-, and first-degree misdemeanors, with first-degree misdemeanors being the most serious.

Felony drug charges in Ohio are the most serious drug offenses and typically attract harsher punishments. Felonies are also classified by degrees ranging from fifth-, fourth, third-, second, and first-degree felonies, with first-degree felonies being the most serious.

A man caught with illegal drugs who needs a Toledo drug crimes lawyer

Can I Have a Drug Conviction Expunged in Ohio?

Yes, the vast majority of marijuana and drug trafficking records can be sealed in Ohio.

Ohio has a particularly broad definition of drug trafficking, which includes selling, offering for sale, intent to sell, cultivating, delivering, shipping, transporting, distributing, or manufacturing marijuana or drugs. As a result, people are often arrested for these trafficking offenses and left with a criminal record.

If you are convicted of a drug-related offense, you will have a permanent criminal record available to just about anybody. Fortunately, an expungement can clear the record and offer a fresh start to life. However, some high-level aggravated drug trafficking convictions aren’t eligible for expungement depending on the degree of felony offense.

Possible Defenses in Drug Crimes Cases

The available defenses in Ohio drug crime cases depend on the specific factors involved, but most rely on the type of evidence the prosecution has against you, what you knew at the time of the arrest, and how the police conducted their investigation.

Below are some of the most common defenses for drug crimes in Toledo, Ohio.

Unwitting Possession

It is a defense strategy that acknowledges that while drugs were actually found in your possession, you didn’t know or reasonably couldn’t know that you were holding or carrying drugs. This could happen if you were carrying someone else’s bag or delivering a package without knowing its contents.

Lack of Possession

It is a defense strategy that relies on the fact that you lacked “control and dominion” over the controlled substance, which means that you are not legally “in possession” of it. Situations where this may apply include drugs found in a car with multiple passengers and drugs found in a house with several roommates.

Constitutional Rights Violations

Even if you are found in possession of a controlled substance, the prosecution, police, and the courts have a duty to follow proper procedures in bringing your case. If you were illegally searched during a traffic stop, you weren’t warned about your Miranda rights, or the police entered your home without a warrant, the evidence collected in your case may not be admissible in court.

How Much Will Hiring a Toledo Drug Crimes Lawyer Cost?

One question on the mind of anyone facing drug charges in Toledo is about the lawyer’s fees. Such questions are perfectly reasonable for a variety of reasons such as urgency, cost, and lack of familiarity with the criminal justice system.

To meet the needs of our clients, Patituce & Associates offers a number of different payment types. We offer hourly rates, flat fee retainers, as well as mixed rates for our services. We want to ensure that the fee is fair while accounting for the professional services we offer.

Call our Toledo drug crimes lawyers today for a free consultation.

Are You Facing Drug Charges in Toledo, Ohio? Our Lawyers Are Here!

If you have been charged with a drug crime of any type, it is important that you get legal counsel immediately. At Patituce & Associates, we have a successful track record when it comes to drug cases and are ready to get behind you. The decision to work with our lawyers early and address your drug charges head-on may be the difference in your ability to put them behind you.

Call us today at 419-737-4556 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with our Toledo drug crimes lawyers!

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