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Ohio’s Drug Trafficking Laws Especially Tough

Ohio’s Drug Trafficking Laws Especially Tough

Many believe that the U.S. War on Drugs, launched in the 1980s, has resulted in unfair penalties and overly harsh jail and prison sentences. In addressing this issue, some states have begun to reexamine their drug laws and reduce the mandatory sentencing guidelines for certain offenders.

Ohio, however, is not among these states. The drug trafficking laws in Ohio remain among the most severe in the country, with heavy fines and long jail sentences common for those convicted.

Drug trafficking includes any knowing sale or offer of sale of a controlled substance. This may include simply shipping, transporting, delivering or preparing the drug for delivery if the person has reason to believe the recipient of the drug intends to sell it. A person does not actually have to articulate this intent as long as prosecutors can successfully argue that intent was implicit.

Ohio maintains a strict definition of controlled substances and even extends this definition to include the compounds that make up controlled substances. This means a person can be arrested for intent to distribute a controlled substance, even if the drug has not yet been manufactured.

The penalties for drug trafficking in Ohio depend on the type of controlled substance and the quantity a person possesses at the time of arrest. However, even possession of drugs considered minor in certain states may come with tough penalties in Ohio. For example, individuals trafficking a small amount of marijuana will likely face felony charges, which are punishable by six to 12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines.

After an arrest for trafficking or another type of drug crime, work with a skilled Cleveland criminal defense attorney right away.


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