What Impacts the Severity of a Drug Charge?

When people think of prosecutors accusing people of their supposed criminal acts, they often picture a straightforward process that involves little to no critical thinking; however, that’s not how criminal charges work. Every state has its own set of rules and regulations that determines the severity of a supposed criminal act, and Ohio is no different. In this blog post, Patrick Mulligan & Associates will examine the various scenarios that can impact the severity of an Ohio drug crime.

What Impacts the Severity of a Drug Charge?

The Type of Drug

The first (and most obvious) thing that can impact the severity of a drug charge is the type of drug the person is arrested for possessing. Drugs are categorized into five different schedules: the lower the schedule, the more dangerous and addicting the drug is supposed to be. Typically speaking, criminal penalties increase the lower the schedule of the drug.

For example, possession of a schedule I or II drug typically starts as a fifth-degree felony in Ohio. However, possession of a schedule III, IV, or V drug usually starts as a first-degree misdemeanor charge.

The Number of Drugs

The second thing that can impact the severity of a drug charge is the total weight of the drugs found in the person’s possession. The weight of the drugs impacts a person’s charges because as the weight increases, the number of uses someone can get from the drugs in question increases as well.

For example, possession of marihuana is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio, but possession of more than a hundred grams of marihuana but less than two hundred grams is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

The Owner’s Intent with the Drugs

The drug owner’s intended use with the drugs will drastically impact the criminal charges made against them. Charges are typically favorable for someone who is accused of drug possession as opposed to someone who is accused of possession with intent to sell.

For example, possession of marihuana charges start as minor misdemeanors, but possession of marihuana with intent to sell (trafficking) charges start as fifth-degree felonies.

The Age of the Person

The age of the accused can impact the potential criminal penalties he or she could face. If a juvenile is charged with possession of marihuana, he or she will not likely face the same penalties or charges as an adult under the same circumstances.

Additionally, the age of the person who’s buying the drugs can impact the seller’s potential charges. Selling drugs to a juvenile will likely result in harsher charges for the accused.

For example, selling drugs in the vicinity of a juvenile can increase potential penalties. Possession of marihuana with intent to sell charges start as a fifth-degree felony, but if the seller is selling to a juvenile, charges can increase to a third-degree felony.

Hire an Attorney Regardless of the Charges

If you or a loved one is charged with any drug crime, it’s time to talk to an experienced drug crime attorney. Patrick Mulligan & Associates is an award-winning criminal defense firm, which means we’re an excellent option for your case regardless of the circumstances.

If you’re ready to talk to an attorney, call (937) 685-7006 now for a free consultation for your case!

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