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Penalties for Felony Drug Charges in Ohio

Home|Blog|Criminal Defense|Penalties for Felony Drug Charges in Ohio

Every drug charge is a serious matter, but a felony drug charge is even more serious. If you are facing a felony drug charge, your future hangs in the balance, and bringing your strongest defense is critical. Better understanding the penalties for felony drug charges in Ohio can help you better understand what you are up against, and having a dedicated Ohio criminal defense attorney on your side is well advised. 

Penalties for Felony Drug Possession in Ohio

The level of the drug charge you face will depend upon the type of drug involved and its quantity. There is also a legal dividing line that is known as the bulk amount (which varies in relation to the substance in question) that can serve as a charge enhancement. Consider the following felony charges and their attendant penalties:

  • The maximum fine for a felony of the fifth degree is $2,500, and the sentencing term is from 6 to 12 months in prison. 
  • The maximum fine for a felony of the fourth degree is $5,000, and the sentencing term is from 6 to 18 months in prison.
  • The maximum fine for a felony of the third degree is $10,000 (with a minimum of $5,000), and the sentencing term is from 1 to 5 years in prison.
  • The maximum fine for a felony of the second degree is $15,000 (with a minimum of $7,500), and the sentencing term is from 2 to 8 years in prison.
  • The maximum fine for a felony of the first degree is $20,000 (with a minimum of $10,000), and the sentencing term is from 3 to 11 years in prison.

Possession of Schedule I and II Drugs

Possession of substances with no medical use (Schedule I drugs) and substances with a very high potential for abuse but that do have some medical uses (Schedule II drugs) – with the exception of marijuana, LSD, heroin, cocaine, hashish, and controlled substance analogs – amount to aggravated drug possession charges, which are typically felonies. Those drugs that generally qualify include methamphetamines and prescription opioid painkillers (without the necessary prescriptions). 

Consider the following felony charges:

  • Possession of more than the bulk amount of the drug in question but less than 5 times the amount is a felony of the third degree. 
  • Possession of more than 5 times the bulk amount of the drug in question but less than 50 times the amount is a felony of the second degree. 
  • Possession of more than 50 times the bulk amount of the drug in question but less than 100 times the amount is a felony of the first degree. 

Beyond this is the charge of major drug offender, which is possession of at least 100 times the bulk amount, and that is a felony of the first degree (requiring a maximum sentence). 

An Experienced Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

The trusted Ohio criminal defense attorneys at The VanNoy Firm have the experience, legal insight, and drive to help you. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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Anthony S. VanNoy

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