Drug Possession Attorney – Westerville, Ohio
If you have been charged with drug possession in Westerville, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your drug possession charge.
It is critical that you hire legal counsel if you have been charged with drug possession. Attorney David Johnson will be with you from the beginning, attending your first court appearance (called an “arraignment) with you. At your arraignment, Attorney Johnson will seek to have your case dismissed. However, in the event that your drug possession charge is not dropped, a pre-trial hearing will be conducted.
Depending upon where your drug possession charge is heard, negotiations will begin with the prosecutor upon a possible plea agreement and evidence will be gathered to bolster your defense. While negotiating with the prosecution about a favorable plea agreement, Attorney Johnson will file a motion to suppress the evidence against you.
A motion hearing will be held, where Attorney Johnson will challenge the evidence and the drug possession charge. This will involve arguing that the police did not have probable cause to search or arrest you, lacked a warrant, or violated your constitutional rights. This may result in the drug possession charge being dismissed by the prosecution. However, if the case is not dismissed, negotiations fail to produce a favorable plea agreement, or you decline to accept the plea agreement, your case will be set for trial.
At trial, Attorney Johnson will vigorously defend you and your rights. However, if you are found guilty, Attorney Johnson will seek all avenues available that will allow you to avoid jail or prison.
Westerville, Ohio – Where Will Your Case Be Heard?
Depending upon where you were arrested, and the type and level of drug possession you are charged with, your case will be heard in one of several different courts. If the drug possession charge is a misdemeanor, your case will be heard in Westerville Mayor’s Court, Franklin County Municipal Court, or Delaware County Municipal Court. If the drug possession charge is a felony, your case will be heard in Franklin County Common Pleas Court or Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
What Types of Cases Does Westerville Mayor’s Court Handle?
Westerville, Ohio has its own set of codified ordinances that describe certain drug offenses and the penalties associated with these offenses. Westerville Mayor’s Court, however, only handles misdemeanor marijuana possession charges. Felony marijuana charges and possession of other drugs will be filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court or Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Where is the Westerville Mayor’s Court Located?
Westerville Mayor’s Court is located at 21 S. State St., Westerville, Ohio 43081. Consult the map below for directions to Westerville Mayor’s Court.
How do Mayor’s Courts Differ from Municipal Courts?
Mayor’s courts are unique in that they are not permitted to conduct jury trials because they are not courts of record. Moreover, cases are heard either by the mayor or a magistrate appointed by the mayor. If a person wants a jury trial, or does not want the mayor’s court hearing his or her case, the defendant can have the case transferred to the applicable municipal court. Furthermore, if a person is convicted in a mayor’s court, that person may appeal their conviction to the appropriate county municipal court.
There are advantages to having your case heard in a mayor’s court. For example, mayor’s courts are more informal than municipal courts and are more conveniently located than a county municipal court. Additionally, mayor’s court sometimes provide evening hours for the hearing of cases.
Are Diversion Programs Available for Drug Possession Offenses?
Yes. Depending upon whether your case is filed in Westerville Mayor’s Court, or in Franklin or Delaware County, diversion programs are available for drug possession cases.
Franklin County Drug Court – TIES Program
In Columbus, Ohio, a first time marijuana possession offender may be eligible for acceptance into diversion. While this program is available for non-violent misdemeanor offenders, the program is discretionary (i.e., the prosecutor must approve of the defendant’s acceptance into the program). This requires the expertise of a skilled drug attorney in Columbus, Ohio.
In addition to a diversion program in Franklin County Municipal Court for drug possession offenses, the Franklin County Common Pleas Court created the “Treatment is Essential for Success” (TIES) program for individuals whose crimes involved alcohol and/or drug use. The TIES program began in 2004 and offenders must meet the following requirements:
- 4th or 5th Degree Felony Offenders
- Non-violent charges and non-gun-related charges
- No significant history of violent crimes or drug trafficking
- Sufficient motivation for treatment
- Diagnosis of chemical dependency
- Defendant meets the criteria under sentencing guidelines for “presumption of probation”
The TIES program consists of three 12-week phases and a final 6-month period of probation. Each phases requires the completion of several tasks before the next phase is reached. Upon the successful completion of the program, the offender will be released from the program. This program was designed as an alternative to prison sentences, with the goal of rehabilitating individuals and reducing recidivism rates.
Pre-Trial Diversion in Delaware County, Ohio
In Delaware County, a pre-trial diversion program is available for certain drug-related offenses. The program is available to first-time offenders with minor misdemeanor violations of possession of marijuana and 4th degree misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition to having a qualifying offense, the prosecutor must confirm that the defendant is eligible and recommend that the defendant participate in it. If the defendant is recommended for the program, the offender must do the following:
- Waive, in writing, the right to a trial and, if not represented by counsel, the right to be represented by an attorney;
- Agree, in writing, to pay a $150 fee for supervision services as well as other court costs; and
- Enter a guilty plea to the charge.
The defendant will have 90 days to complete the following:
- Complete a drug-education class and attend a drug dependency treatment program;
- Complete 20 hours of community service;
- Refrain from committing any other criminal offense;
- Submit to drug testing whenever directed to do so by the Diversion Manager, and agree that failure to submit or any positive test will result in the defendant’s removal from the program; and
- Pay the $150 supervision fee.
Following the 90-day period, the court will either approve the defendant’s request to withdraw the guilty plea and dismiss the case against the defendant, or enter the previously suspended sentence if the defendant has not complied with the requirements of the program.
Westerville, Ohio Drug Possession Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with drug possession in Westerville, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192 and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call Johnson Legal, LLC to schedule a consultation regarding your drug possession case.
Heplful links for Westerville, Ohio: Westerville Chamber Of Commerce, City of Westerville, Westerville Parks Department, Otterbein University, Westerville City Schools, Westerville Library, Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau
29 S. South Street
Westerville, Ohio 43081
(614) 882-7444 (non-emergency)
844 U.S. 42
Delaware, Ohio 43015
140 N. Sandusky Street, 3rd Floor
Delaware, Ohio 43015
370 S. Front Street, 2nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
373 S. High Street, 14th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215