Dayton Drug Trafficking Attorneys
Defending Against Drug Trafficking Charges in Ohio
Drug trafficking is a serious crime that can carry severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. If you or a loved one is facing drug trafficking charges, it is important to have a skilled attorney on your side who can protect your rights and fight for your freedom.
At L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC, we have over 50 years of combined experience defending clients against many types of criminal offenses, including drug crimes. Our Dayton drug trafficking lawyers understand the complexity of these cases and know how to build a strong defense strategy designed to achieve the best possible outcome, no matter the circumstances. We also recognize what is at stake and will leave no stone unturned in our fight to protect your future.
If you or someone you love has been charged with drug trafficking, do not wait to get legal advice. Request a free initial consultation today by calling (937) 685-7006 or contacting us online.
What Is Considered Drug Trafficking in Ohio?
In the state of Ohio, drug trafficking is broadly defined as the act of selling, shipping, transporting, or delivering controlled substances. The specific substances can vary, but they typically include narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and prescription drugs that are sold without a valid prescription. The severity of the charges and the ensuing penalties depend largely upon the type of drug involved, the quantity of the drug, and whether the distribution was within the vicinity of a school or a juvenile.
Ohio law differentiates between minor misdemeanors such as possession of a small amount of a drug and more serious offenses like drug trafficking. Even the smallest quantity of a drug being sold can be considered as trafficking, which is almost always treated as a felony under Ohio law. The level of the felony, however, is contingent on the type of drug and the amount being trafficked.
It is also important to note that in Ohio, an individual can be charged with drug trafficking solely on the basis of possessing a large quantity of drugs. The assumption is that such a quantity indicates an intent to sell. Furthermore, if someone is found to have items associated with drug distribution, like scales or baggies, they could face drug trafficking charges on the presumption that this paraphernalia indicates an intent to sell or distribute.
The bottom line: You could be charged with drug trafficking in Ohio simply for giving a small amount of a controlled substance to someone else, even if no money changes hands. You could also be hit with these charges simply for having a lot of a particular drug or possessing items associated with drug distribution. Whether you made a mistake or are the victim of a misunderstanding, you need capable legal representation when facing these charges. Our Dayton drug trafficking attorneys are ready to get to work on your defense no matter what happened.
When Does Drug Trafficking in Ohio Become a Federal Crime?
In certain scenarios, allegations of drug trafficking in Ohio can be charged at the federal level. This typically occurs when the trafficking crosses state lines, involves an especially large quantity of drugs, or is linked to organized criminal activity. Federal charges may also arise if the alleged trafficking activity occurs on federal property or involves federal officers. U.S. federal law has stringent regulations on drug offenses, and the penalties can be severe, often exceeding those applied at the state level. Federal cases are prosecuted in federal courts, which operate under different rules and processes than state courts. Our team at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC is prepared to defend you in both state and federal courts.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Ohio
The penalties for drug trafficking in Ohio are severe and vary depending on the type of drug, the quantity involved, and other specific circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. The Ohio Revised Code Section 2925.03 provides precise penalties for drug trafficking, which range from minor misdemeanors in very specific cases to first-degree felonies.
A minor misdemeanor drug trafficking charge, such as gifting less than 20 grams of marijuana, carries only a fine of $150 for a first-time offender. A second offense triggers up to 60 days of incarceration and fines of up to $500. The penalties quickly escalate further with the increasing amounts of drugs involved or when the trafficking involves more dangerous substances. For example, selling less than 200 grams of marijuana is a fifth-degree felony that can lead to up to a year of incarceration and fines of up to $2,500. Trafficking less than only five grams of cocaine, meanwhile, is also a fifth-degree felony, similarly carrying a potential sentence of up to a year of prison time and fines of up to $2,500.
Major felonies are triggered when the quantities of the drug or other circumstances are particularly severe. Trafficking over 100 grams of cocaine, large amounts of a Schedule I or II substance, or in the vicinity of a school or juvenile can all trigger first-degree felony charges. This extremely serious charge carries a sentence of up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000.
Beyond imprisonment and fines, drug trafficking convictions can also lead to other serious consequences, including mandatory drug treatment, probation, and community service. Furthermore, any drug-related conviction can also have serious impacts on an individual's future, including limiting their ability to secure housing and professional opportunities.
Potential Defenses for Drug Trafficking in Ohio
Our Dayton drug trafficking lawyers employ a variety of defense strategies to fight these charges in Ohio, each tailored to the specifics of the case. Our ultimate goal is to protect your rights, reputation, and future by providing the best possible defense.
Potential defense strategies may include:
- Challenging the legality of the search and seizure. Law enforcement officers are required to follow specific procedures when conducting searches and seizures. If they violate these procedures, or if the search was conducted without a valid warrant or justifiable probable cause, the evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible in court.
- Questioning the actual possession of the drugs. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was in actual possession of the drugs. We can challenge this by raising doubts about the true ownership of the drugs or whether you were even aware of their presence.
- Disputing the intent to distribute. Being in possession of a large quantity of drugs does not automatically prove an intent to distribute. The prosecution must provide concrete evidence supporting this claim. We can counter this by arguing that the drugs were intended for personal use, not for distribution.
- Examining the reliability of informants or witnesses. If the case against you is based largely on the testimony of an informant or witness, we can scrutinize their credibility, motives, and reliability.
- Challenging the handling of evidence. We can question whether the law enforcement officers correctly handled, stored, and tested the drug evidence. Any discrepancies or mistakes in these procedures could weaken the prosecution's case.
Charged with drug trafficking? Call (937) 685-7006 or contact us online today.