Charges for Meth Possession in Ohio
Ohio law treats illegal methamphetamine possession as a felony offense. While it is possible to possess the drug legally because it is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in several kinds of prescription medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), federal and state law enforcement agencies place methamphetamine in the second-highest category of controlled substances. Having Schedule II ADHD drugs without a prescription, then, is considered as much of a violation of the drug control laws as is buying meth made by drug dealers.
In Ohio, a single charge for simple possession of meth for personal use is prosecuted as a fifth-degree felony that is punishable by a year in jail. The charge becomes more serious as the number of doses and weight of the drug that was deemed to be in the suspect’s possession increases. “Possession” can mean having meth in one’s pockets, car, home, or place of business. Sometimes, every teen and adult found in a building where meth is present will get charged.
Prison time becomes mandatory when the possession charge is filed and prosecuted as a second-degree felony. Prosecutors will usually seek a maximum sentence of 8 years for such a high-level charge. Criminal fines for felony convictions can rise to $20,000 per count, and automatic suspensions of a personal driver’s license, commercial driving certifications, and state-issued professional licenses like those for practicing law and medicine also come with a meth possession conviction or guilty plea.
Successfully fighting a methamphetamine charge usually requires working closely with a Columbus meth crime attorney. Such a legal expert and advocate will know how to challenge the prosecution’s evidence by questioning the methods used to search for and seize the alleged drugs, analyze the materials, and transport and store the chemical products while the investigation and trial proceedings. Other questions a drug crime attorney in Columbus, Ohio, will compel police and prosecutors to answer include how they can prove his client had the alleged drugs in her possession at the time of arrest and if the prosecution can prove the suspect had no legitimate purpose in possessing methamphetamines for medical reasons.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer will also be able to help a client fight charges related to meth possession. Police who find pipes and small baggies in addition to drugs they identify as methamphetamines will often issue misdemeanor charges for possession of drug paraphernalia. Having certain chemicals, including the cold medicine pseudoephedrine, in a house where methamphetamine is found can be treated as evidence of illegally manufacturing a controlled substance. And an accusation for possessing large amounts of meth will often be bumped up to a trafficking charge. Each purported offense can be charged and prosecuted separately, putting a defendant at risk for multiple consecutive sentences.
Michael S. Probst of the Probst Law Office has handled numerous drug cases in Ohio as both a former assistant prosecutor and as a defense attorney. To learn how he may be able to help you contest a meth possession charge, reach out to Michael online. There is no charge for an initial consultation.