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Cleveland Drug Lawyer

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.

Whether you are a facing a misdemeanor related to marijuana possession or a felony for heroin trafficking, you need a skilled Cleveland drug lawyer as soon as possible to begin crafting a strong defense. Cleveland criminal defense attorney Dan Margolis can aggressively protect your rights from start to finish and fight for the best possible result.

If you are charged with a drug crime in Cleveland or its surrounding areas, call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC today at (216) 533-9533 to schedule a free consultation.

Controlled Substances Schedule

The federal government has a controlled substances schedule. Most states, including Ohio, also have their own distinct, yet similar schedules. These schedules are important, as they largely influence the specific drug charges you may face.

Ohio’s controlled substance schedule divides drugs into five distinct categories:

  • 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.

The type of drug you are accused of interacting with matters a great deal to your case. The consequences can vary greatly between a conviction for a schedule IV versus a schedule I substance. If you are accused of possessing, manufacturing, or trafficking a certain drug and you are unsure of where it falls on the state’s controlled substances schedule, contact a Cleveland drug lawyer at The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC right away.

Common Ohio Drug Crimes

Some common drug crimes in Ohio include:

Drug Possession – Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 2925.11 lays out the crime of possessing a controlled substance. 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. If you possess a Schedule I or II drug other than marijuana, LSD, cocaine, or heroin, then you may face fifth-degree felony charges. If you possess a Schedule III, IV, or V substance, you may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor or a felony. You may face a harsher charge if you have a significant amount of one or more of these drugs, or if you have a previous drug conviction. If you have been charged with possessing an illegal drug, contact a Cleveland drug lawyer as soon as possible.

Drug Trafficking – ORC Chapter 2925.03 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 fourth-degree felony. If the offense involved a Schedule III, IV, or V drug, trafficking is at least a fifth-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. Trafficking is a more serious crime than simple possession. If you are accused of trafficking drugs, call a drug defense lawyer from The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC today.

Drug Paraphernalia – Under ORC Chapter 2925.14, drug paraphernalia includes several items. Any equipment, product, or material of any kind that you used, intended to use, or was designed to use in propagating, cultivating, manufacturing, producing, processing, preparing, packaging, storing, containing, concealing, or ingesting a controlled substance is considered paraphernalia under this law. Based on ORC Chapter 2925.14(C), it is illegal to knowingly use, possess with the intent to use, sell, or advertise for sale any drug paraphernalia. Possessing paraphernalia is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Selling, intending to sell, and advertising the sale of paraphernalia is a second-degree misdemeanor. However, selling or trying to sell drug paraphernalia to a minor heightens the possible offense level to a first-degree misdemeanor.

Marijuana Crimes

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug in Ohio. However, it is treated differently than most Schedule I substances. The offense for possessing marijuana depends on the amount.

  • Less than 100 grams – Typically a minor misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $150 plus court costs. You cannot be incarcerated for minor misdemeanor.
  • Between 100 and 199 grams – A fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.
  • Between 200 and 999 grams – A fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to one year in prison and fines reaching $2,500.
  • Between 1,000 and 4,999 grams – A third-degree felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Possession of marijuana between 20,000, but less than 40,000 grams escalates the charge to a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of eight years in prison, but carries a mandatory prison term of not less than 5 years.  It also carries a fine not to exceed $15,000. When possession exceeds 40,000 grams (40 kilograms) or more of marijuana it is still a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of eight years in prison, but carries a mandatory term of the full eight years. It also carries a fine not to exceed $15,000. If these offenses involve minors or occurred near a school, the offense may be escalated to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.

Keep in mind that these charges are for possessing marijuana. If there is evidence you were cultivating, trafficking, or selling marijuana, you could face much harsher consequences.

Heroin Crimes

Heroin is another drug that is charged differently than other controlled substances in Schedule I. The amount of heroin in your possession dictates the charge.

  • Less than 1 gram – A fifth-degree felony, punishable by between six and 12 months in prison, and fines reaching $2,500.
  • Between 1 and 4 grams – A fourth-degree felony, penalized by six to 18 months in prison, and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Between 5 and 9 grams – A third-degree felony, punishable by nine months and five years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Between 10 and 49 grams – A second-degree felony, punishable by two to eight years in prison, and fines reaching $15,000.
  • Between 50 and 249 grams – A first-degree felony, punishable by three to 11 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $20,000.
  • 250 grams or more – A first-degree felony, punishable by a mandatory 11 years in prison, fines reaching $20,000.

Let a Cleveland Drug Lawyer Help You

If you have been charged with any type of drug offense in Ohio, contact The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC. By working with a criminal defense lawyer with a long history of success in various drug cases, you will have a quality advocate looking out for your rights and freedom. Attorney Dan Margolis will thoroughly investigate your case to determine your options moving forward. Attorney Margolis is passionate about your constitutional rights and always strives for the best outcome, whether that is an acquittal, alternative sentencing and treatment options, or the minimal penalties.

Contact Dan Margolis Today

For more information on how a Cleveland drug lawyer can help you, call (216) 533-9533 or use the online form to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Attorney Margolis is not currently providing free consultations nor accepting new clients. Please be advised that contact form submissions and calls may not be returned.