Drug Crime Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
If you get convicted of committing a drug offense in Ohio, you may automatically get sentenced to serving several years in jail. In addition to your freedom, you may lose your driver’s license, professional licenses, personal property, and ability to hold certain jobs after leaving prison. With the state and federal law enforcement officials operating in Ohio considering even smoking a single joint, buying large amounts of allergy medications, and taking more narcotic painkillers than prescribed to be drug offenses worthy of arrest and prosecution, anyone accused of possessing, abusing, selling or trafficking drugs in the capital city of Columbus needs an experienced and hard-working defense attorney at Leist Warner.
Many Drugs Are Considered Illegal and Potentially Illegal
Ohio, like most states, follows the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in placing street drugs and prescription medications into schedules based on the substances’ perceived risks for causing harm and potentials for getting used safely to treat health problems. The state also includes ephedrine, an ingredient in several nonprescription allergy and cold treatments that can be used to produce methamphetamine, and the marijuana-like plant salvia under its definitions of dangerous drugs.
Here is a sample of the DEA schedule:
- Schedule I—heroin, LSD, marijuana/cannabis
- Schedule II—cocaine, hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin), amphetamines (e.g., Adderall)
- Schedule III—high-dose codeine, steroids, testosterone
- Schedule IV—alprazolam (e.g., Xanax), diazepam (e.g., Valium), zolpidem (e.g., Ambien)
Nearly Anyone Can Commit a Drug Offense
Note that several medications used by thousands of Ohioans, including children, draw interest from police and prosecutors any time they get prescribed, purchased, and administered. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists must obtain special licenses to work with many kinds of medications. Parents buying ephedrine-based cough and cold drugs must sign a log and hand over personal identification. Marijuana, considered a legitimate therapy in nearly half of U.S. states and all but completely legal for recreational use in Colorado and Oregon, remains in the most heavily regulated category of drugs in the Buckeye State.
Health professionals who fail to meet paperwork requirements, individuals who take pain pills without prescriptions, and caregivers who unintentionally deliver overdoses to patients can commit drug offenses under Ohio law. Ohio Revised Code § 2925 affects individuals well beyond the generally accepted definition of “drug dealers.” This law includes addicts and people who make honest mistakes, which is why anyone facing a drug offense deserves a strong defense from a Leist Warner attorney.
Penalties for Drug Offenses Can Be Harsh
The possession, abuse/misuse, sale, intent to sell, transportation, and administration of controlled drugs can all be considered criminal acts. An exact charge will depend on several factors, such as the:
- Identity of the accused, including criminal record and profession (e.g., physician, pharmacist)
- Type of drug (i.e., its schedule)
- Amount of drug
- Location of arrest
- Situation of arrest
- Charging authority, with federal officials generally seeking higher-level charges
Convictions on both state and federal drug charges often carry mandatory minimum sentences. This means judges must impose jail time extending to several years, fines amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, and post-incarceration requirements to report regularly to parole officers and meet other conditions to avoid returning to prison. Less-severe penalties for minor drug offenses can include short stays in local jails, required attendance at addiction treatment programs, and ongoing state-monitored drug testing.
Beyond the courts, individuals even charged with committing a drug offense can have their licenses to engage in their chosen professions stripped from them. Commercial truck drivers, health care providers, and engineers or inspectors with responsibilities for ensuring public safety are especially prone to having to surrender their licenses when accused of crimes involving drugs.
Contact a Columbus Drug Crime Attorney
Never face a drug offense alone. Lawyers with Leist Warner have experience representing defendants in all kinds of drug cases. Whether you need a Columbus drug possession attorney, a defense lawyer after getting charged with illegally selling drugs, or legal advice regarding a charge of misusing scheduled prescription medications; we may be able to help you. Call (614) 222-1000 or use this form to request a no-cost case evaluation before you enter a plea.