Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Drug Defense Attorney
Many who have been charged with a drug offense in Ohio have questions regarding the potential consequences they face, what elements the prosecution must prove, whether they will have a criminal record, etc. Although searching the internet for the answers to your questions is a good start, consulting an attorney is best. Consult this FAQ to answer many common questions regarding drug offenses. If questions persist, or you are in need of an experienced and dedicated attorney to defend you against drug charges, consult Attorney David Johnson at Johnson Legal, LLC by calling (614) 987-0192 or send him an email to schedule a consultation. ___________________________________________________________
Q. What is a drug offense?
A. A drug offense generally means a crime involving the possession, manufacture or distribution of an illegal drug. However, there are an assortment of other drug crimes, such as drug paraphernalia.
Q. What drugs are illegal?
A. Illegal drugs are known as controlled substances and include, but are not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine.
Q. What does it mean to be in “possession of a controlled substance?”
A. This is a common legal phrase and means exerting dominion and control over an illegal drug or have a reasonable belief that a substance in your possession is an illegal drug. Possession can mean that the substance is on your person, or it can mean that the drug is found your “constructive possession,” such as being in your car, home or other place where you have access to it.
Q. What is drug trafficking?
A. Drug trafficking is selling, offering to sell, preparing for shipment, shipping or transporting a controlled substance when the person knows, or has reason to know, that the controlled substance is intended for sale. Trafficking does not require a monetary transaction. Simply giving a drug to another can be construed as trafficking under Ohio law.
Q. Doesn’t trafficking only apply to large amounts?
A. No. Under Ohio law, a person can be charged with drug trafficking even if they sell, give, distribute, etc. only a small amount of drugs. Trafficking does not require that the amount of drugs meet a minimum amount. However, the quantity of the drug will determine what level of offense the person is charge with.
Q. What is drug cultivation?
A. Cultivation is governed by drug manufacture laws and is defined as the production or growth of marijuana.
Q. What does “corrupting another with drugs” mean?
A. This means coercing or deceiving another into taking drugs, giving drugs to someone with the purpose of causing them to become addicted, or harming another by giving them drugs.
Q. What is drug paraphernalia?
A. Drug paraphernalia is any item that might be used to produce or use an illegal substance. Common examples include bongs, water pipes, scales, and needles.
Q. What should I do if I am arrested for a drug offense?
A. If you are arrested for a drug offense in Ohio, you should immediately assert your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney. Subsequent to this, you should only tell the police your name, address and birth date if requested.
Q. If the police want to search my home or vehicle, should I consent?
A. Never give consent to the police to conduct a search or your home or vehicle. The police are generally required to have a properly executed search warrant that describes the place to be searched and the items to be seized. Giving consent to law enforcement to search your home, vehicle or person is simply offering evidence to the prosecution.
Q. If arrested in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio for a drug offense, will I go to jail?
A. Ohio’s sentencing guidelines for many drug offense convictions provide for the possibility of jail or prison. If you have been arrested for a drug offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney immediately.
Q. Are there other consequences in addition to prison/jail and fines for a drug offense?
A. There are a number of consequences in addition to prison/jail and fines for a drug offense. First, the offender’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory 6 months to multiple years. The person may also lose any professional license, such as a medical, nursing, or law license temporarily or permanently. For those looking to go to college, a drug conviction will be a substantial obstacle in gaining admission and securing student loans.
Q. If I am already in college, can I lose my financial aid for drug possession?
A. Yes. To receive federal financial aid, such as student loans or Pell grants, you have to fill out a FAFSA form. This form asks whether you have any convictions for possessing or selling drugs. Answering yes, or lying about your convictions, will result in you losing your eligibility for federal aid.
Q. What are the defenses to drug charges?
A. A number of defenses exist for drug charges in Ohio. However, what defenses are available depend upon a number of factors, include the facts of the case, the nature of the charges, the evidence the prosecutor intends to use, and how the police conducted their investigation. Common defenses include the person lacking possession of the drug, unreasonable search and seizure, failure to administer Miranda warnings, and lack of intent.
Q. Does Ohio have drug treatment programs available in lieu of jail or prison if convicted?
A. Many courts in Ohio have drug courts. Drug courts recognize that drug treatment is sometimes better for drug offenders than simply putting people in jail or prison. These courts allow judges to place offenders in treatment as an alternative to jail or prison. The offender must agree to meet certain terms and conditions, such as attending court ordered drug treatment, submitting to regular and random testing, and engaging in a variety of drug rehabilitation and prevention programs.
Q. Do I need a lawyer if I have been charged with a drug offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio?
A. Hiring an attorney is a very good idea if you have been arrested and charged with a drug offense. All drug charges are serious, not only because of the potential for prison and fines, but also because of the other consequences a drug conviction brings. People with a drug conviction will have problems securing employment, going to college, being approved for student loans, loss of driver’s license, and a permanent criminal record.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Drug Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Columbus or Delaware, 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 offense case.