While marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in several states, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and for medicinal use in 23 states, marijuana is illegal under Ohio law. Illegal cultivation of marijuana can lead to mandatory prison terms, significant fines, suspension of your driver’s license, forfeiture of property and difficulty obtaining employment.
What is Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana in Ohio?
Illegal cultivation of marijuana is defined as knowingly cultivating, preparing, producing, growing or manufacturing marijuana or substances containing marijuana under ORC 2925.04. The “knowingly” element to this offense requires that the person have the specific intent to commit the crime of illegal cultivation of marijuana. Moreover, the person must either know or have a reasonable belief that the substance being cultivated is marijuana.
While Ohio has decriminalized the possession of marijuana in small amounts (i.e., under 100 grams), Ohio has not legalized the possession of marijuana in any amount or the cultivation of marijuana in any amount. Thus, growing or cultivating marijuana in any amount will result in criminal charges.
Penalties for Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana in Ohio
The penalties for illegal cultivation of marijuana in Ohio vary based on the amount that was being cultivated, whether it was being grown in the vicinity of a school or children, and the person’s prior criminal history. Illegal cultivation of marijuana can be charged as a minor misdemeanor as the lowest level of offense or as a 1st degree felony for the highest level of offense.
Illegal cultivation of marijuana will be charged as a minor misdemeanor if the amount of marijuana being cultivated is less than 100 grams and is not cultivated in the vicinity of a school or children. This level of offense carries a $150 fine and a license suspension of at least 6 months in duration. However, this level of offense includes no jail time.
Illegal cultivation is an escalating offense based primarily on the amount of marijuana being grown. This means that this offense can be charged as a 4th degree misdemeanor or as a 5th, 3rd, 2nd or 1st degree felony. The offense will be charged as a 1st degree felony if the amount of marijuana being cultivated is 20,000 grams or more and is committed near a school or children. This level offense carries a mandatory 8 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, in addition to other penalties.
For a more complete breakdown of the offense levels for Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana in Ohio, visit Johnson Legal, LLC’s Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana page.
Defense to Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana
The primary defense to illegal cultivation of marijuana in Ohio is that the police conducted an unlawful search and seizure. Law enforcement does not always comply with search and seizure laws, thereby creating an opportunity for a skilled attorney to assert that the police violated your 4th Amendment rights.
An unlawful search and seizure can result from a number of situations, including the police lacking probable cause or a search warrant, from a search warrant that was not properly executed, or from the police exceeding the permissible bounds of a search warrant. In the event that this takes place, Attorney David Johnson will file a motion to suppress the evidence. If granted, the evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful search and seizure will be excluded as evidence at trial and may result in the charges being dismissed.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Marijuana Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Attorney David Johnson at Johnson Legal, LLC to discuss your case. As an experienced and knowledgeable drug defense lawyer in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio, Attorney Johnson can help you fight the charge and achieve the best possible outcome. Contact Attorney David Johnson at (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation to discuss your illegal cultivation of marijuana case.