Drug Possession and Trafficking

Drugs charges in Ohio range in severity from simple possession with only a fine and court costs to high-level manufacturing and distribution which may carry a significant mandatory prison sentence. Regardless of the alleged offense, it is important to consider the potential impact of a drug conviction and carefully consider your options. If you are being investigated or already charged with a drug-related crime, you need to take your situation seriously. Each drug case is unique, and the exact offense and possible consequences you face depend on a number of factors. These include the type and amount of the drugs in question, your criminal record, and your conduct related to the charges.

Drug Possession – It is illegal to knowingly obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance unless you are a manufacturer, have a license to prescribe drugs, or a prescription for said substance. It is a 5th degree felony to possess a Schedule I or II drug other than marijuana, LSD, cocaine, or heroin. If you have been charged with possessing an illegal drug, contact Hayes Law as soon as possible.

Drug Trafficking – Ohio law states that no one shall knowingly sell, offer to sell, prepare to ship, transport, deliver, prepare for distribution, or distribute controlled substances. For Schedule I or II drugs other than cocaine, LSD, heroin, or marijuana, this is at least a 4th degree felony. If the offense involved a Schedule III, IV, or V drug, trafficking is at least a 5th degree felony. However, for all schedules of drugs, different factors can increase the charge, such as a large quantity of drugs, or the offense occurring near children or a school. If you are accused of trafficking drugs, call Hayes Law as soon as possible.

Substance schedule:

  • Schedule I drugs typically have no medically accepted purpose and have the highest risk of abuse or dependence. These include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, other hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana, and synthetic cannabinoids.
  • Schedule II drugs may have a medically accepted use and have a high risk of abuse and dependence, though it is slightly less than Schedule I substances. These include cocaine, methamphetamine, opium, many painkillers, and GHB.
  • Schedule III substances have a moderate risk for abuse and dependence in addition to having legitimate, medical uses. These include anabolic steroids, barbiturates, and some painkillers.
  • Schedule IV drugs have a relatively low risk of abuse and dependence and medical uses. These include depression and anxiety medications such as Xanax and other sedatives.
  • Schedule V drugs have the lowest risk of addiction and dependence and have commonly accepted medical uses. This covers many prescription and over-the-counter medications that include a small amount of codeine in addition to some stimulants.

There are diversion programs and drug courts available to avoid drug possession and trafficking convictions in certain circumstances. Please call us today to discuss the details of your case so that the attorneys at Hayes Law may help achieve your goals.

You can find more details in the Quick Reference Guide to Drug Offenses, organized by the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.