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Ohio Revised Code § 2925.03 Drug trafficking: “The sale, offer to sell, shipment, transportation, distribution or delivery of any controlled substance or drug when the alleged offender knew or had reasonable cause to believe the substance was intended for sale or resale to another person.”
Transporting drugs across state lines carries increasing penalties and charges including drug conspiracy, maintaining a drug premises, money laundering conspiracy, and weapons charges. However, even the illegal transaction of drugs between two people can be considered drug trafficking in Ohio.
Drugs often involved in trafficking cases include street drugs, medications, controlled substances, prescription pills, chemicals, and more. The following list is not comprehensive, but includes many drugs that are commonly trafficked:
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Cuyahoga County, contact ATTORNEY JAMES SIDNEY JONES to speak with an experienced drug trafficking attorney.
The penalties for drug trafficking charges in Ohio depend on the amount of substance in question, the type of drug, and where the offense occurred – for example, drug trafficking in the vicinity of schools carry much harsher consequences. Ohio’s drug schedule contains the standards for which drugs carry heftier penalties.
Generally, a drug trafficking offense is considered a misdemeanor if it involves controlled substances within schedules III, IV, or V. Drug trafficking in schedules I and II can result in an aggravated drug trafficking charge, which is considered a felony in Ohio.
Ohio Revised Code § 3719.41 Drug penalties:
Trafficking drugs in Ohio’s schedule I or II usually results in an aggravated drug trafficking charge, which is a felony. Aggravated drug trafficking charges can result in a prison sentence up to 18 months and fines of up to $5,000.
If you are charged with drug trafficking near a school or near juveniles, you could face being convicted for a felony of the fourth degree. A fourth degree felony is punishable with up to five years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
The amounts of drugs being trafficked also weights your possible conviction penalty. If the amount of drugs equals or exceeds the bulk amount up to five times that amount, you can felony of the third degree charges. If this particular offense occurred near juveniles or a school, it’s considered a felony of the second degree.
In an aggravated drug trafficking case, if the amount of drugs is less than 50 times the total amount but equals or exceeds five times the amount, it’s considered a felony of the second degree. If this occurs within proximity of a school or where juveniles are present, it can result in a first degree felony charge.
A first degree felony conviction in an Ohio aggravated drug trafficking case occurs when the amount of controlled trafficked substance exceeds 100 times the bulk amount. First degree felony convictions face mandatory prison time and classification as a major drug offender.
The more you know, the better prepared you will be as a defendant against drug trafficking charges. Here are some of the definitions associated with drug trafficking offenses, which are described in Chapter 3719.01 of the Ohio Revised code.
The State of Ohio classifies controlled substances according to five schedules:
Schedule I These chemicals, drugs, or substances are linked with no accepted medical use, and they carry a high potential for abuse. Examples include the following: peyote; marijuana (cannabis); heroin; ecstasy; LSD; methaqualone.
Schedule II These substances are considered dangerous. They have medical uses, but they exhibit a strong potential for abuse, and their use may potentially cause severe dependence, either psychological or physical. Examples include the following: methamphetamine, Vicodin, methadone, cocaine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine.
Schedule III These drugs, chemicals, or substances have medical uses and carry a low to moderate potential for dependence, whether physical or psychological. Their potential for abuse is lower than both Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, but greater than Schedule IV drugs. Examples include the following: ketamine, testosterone, Tylenol with codeine, and anabolic steroids.
Schedule IV These drugs have medical uses and a low risk for dependence and low potential for abuse. Examples include the following: Tramadol, Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Darvon, Soma, and Ativan.
Schedule V The potential for abuse for these drugs is lower than Schedule IV drugs and feature preparations with limited quantities of specific narcotics. These drugs have medical uses and are typically used for analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal purposes. Examples include the following: Lyrica, Robitussin AC, Lomotil, and Parapectolin.
Ohio Revised Code 2925.01 defines trafficking and aggravated trafficking in drugs. According to the code, it is unlawful to sell or offer to sell a controlled substance or controlled substance analog. If an individual knows or has reason to suspect that a controlled substance or controlled substance analog is intended to be sold, it is also unlawful to:
Aggravated trafficking offenses in Ohio involve drugs that are included in Schedule I or Schedule II. Exceptions include cocaine; marihuana; L.S.D., fentanyl (and fentanyl compounds); hashish; and any controlled substance analog. The charges for these offenses range to some degree, depending on various factors. Generally, aggravated trafficking in Ohio drugs offenses are charged as a felony of the fourth degree. However, if the trafficking occurred around a school or juvenile, the offense charge elevates to a felony of the third degree. In the event that the drug amount equals or exceeds the “bulk amount” but constitutes less than five times the bulk amount, the offense is charged as a felony of the third degree. In this case, if you were previously convicted of a felony drug abuse offense, or you pleaded guilty to such an offense, you will be given a mandatory prison sentence in line with prison terms assigned for a felony of the third degree. For this same level of offense, if the aggravated trafficking took place around a school or juvenile, you will face a charge felony of the second degree, and you will receive a mandatory prison sentence associated with this type of charge. If the aggravated trafficking involves amounts of a drug that equal or exceed five times the bulk amount but are less than 50 times that amount, the offense is charged as a felony of the second degree, with a mandatory prison term fitting this charge. In the event that the offense took place around a school or juvenile, the charge moves up to felony of the first degree, with a mandatory prison term corresponding to a first degree felony. When trafficked amounts equal or exceed 50 times the bulk amount but are less than 100 times the bulk amount, the aggravated trafficking in drugs offense becomes a felony of the first degree, and the court will impose a mandatory prison term that corresponds with a first degree felony. If the offense involves a drug amount that equals or exceeds 100 times the bulk amount, not only is the offense charged as a felony of the first degree, but you are not considered a major drug offender. This corresponds with a mandatory, maximum first degree felony prison term under Ohio law.
Trafficking offenses in Ohio involve drugs that fall under Schedule II, IV, or V. The charges for these offenses range to some degree, depending on various factors. Generally, trafficking in drugs is charged as a felony of the fifth degree. However, if the trafficking occurred around a school or juvenile, the offense charge elevates to a felony of the fourth degree. How the amount of seized drugs rates in comparison to “bulk amount” also factors into the charges associated with a trafficking offense. For amounts that equal or exceed the bulk amount but are less than five times the bulk amount, the offense is a felony of the fourth degree. However, if the trafficking of this amount happened around a school or juvenile, the charge is elevated to a felony of the third degree, and a prison term is presumed. When trafficking involves amounts of a drug that equal or exceed five times the bulk amount but are less than 50 times that amount, the offense is charged as a felony of the third degree, with a presumed prison term. In the event that the offense took place around a school or juvenile, the charge moves up to felony of the second degree, with presumption for a prison sentence. In trafficking situations involving drug amounts that equal or exceed 50 times the bulk amount, the offense is considered a felony of the second degree, with mandatory prison term equivalent to a second degree felony prison term. When the offense occurs around a school or juvenile, the charge advances to a felony of the first degree, with mandatory, first-degree felony prison sentence under Ohio law.