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Drug Possession FAQs from a Columbus Criminal Lawyer

Columbus criminal attorney

Get answers to your possession charges in Ohio

Drug possession charges run the gamut from a slap on the wrist to hard jail time and huge fines. But how do you know which way your case can land you?

Sitting down with a Columbus criminal lawyer is the first step. Read below for a few frequently asked questions to get a handle on the ins and outs before your one-on-one.

Q. What is the definition of drug possession?

Drug possession is the crime of willfully possessing illegal substances such as marijuana, heroin, crystal meth, cocaine and LSD.

These laws also refer to the possession of controlled substances such as prescription medications, chemicals and accessories used in drug creation and drug use. The possession or use of prescribed medication without a prescription is equally serious.

Q. What determines the severity of a drug possession penalty?

Amount possessed, drug type, and state laws can affect the penalty you receive if you’re charged with drug possession. If you are in possession of illicit substances in large amounts, you may be cited with ‘intent to distribute’ as well, which carries a heavier charge.

Q. What is drug paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia is defined as any device or instrument whose primary purpose is to facilitate the creation or delivery of illicit substances. Things like bongs, crack pipes, syringes, and certain types of chemistry equipment may be construed as paraphernalia, especially if said items contain residue related to the substance they are intended to produce or deliver.

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Q. Can the police search my car for drugs?

If a police officer pulls you over for speeding or another traffic violation, and has probable cause to search your car, you may be charged with drug possession if you have any illicit narcotics on your person or in your vehicle. Probable cause could mean he or she saw an open container, can smell something in the car or even saw you trying to hide something.

The officer can open the car door to seize anything illegal that’s “in plain view” and can then take anything else illegal they come across along the way.

Q. What are the marijuana laws in Ohio?

Small amounts of marijuana don’t necessarily result in jail time, or even potential jail time in Ohio. This means that if you are found in possession of less than 100 grams of pot, the maximum penalty is a fine of $150.00, along with a driver’s rights suspension of at least six months

However, possession of larger amounts of marijuana can result in a felony charge accompanied by a fine or jail time or even mandatory prison.

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Q. What happens if I’m caught and charged with possession?

The two main penalties for possession of an illicit substance are fines and jail/prison time. The amount of these two variables can change based on how much and what type of drug you were caught with.

Smaller charges may be dismissed if you complete certain programs and submit to limited supervision over a period of time.

Consult a Columbus criminal attorney

Remember, the vast majority of drugs are still against the law, and those laws are still enforced. In fact, the DEA made over 30,00 domestic arrests in 2013 alone.

However, if you’re arrested and charged with possession of an illicit substance, call one of Yavitch & Palmer’s professional criminal attorneys. They’ll listen to your side of the story, comb through every detail of your case, and work to get your possession charges minimized or dismissed.

Contact Yavitch & Palmer today at 614-224-6142, or use our contact form to schedule an appointment at our Downtown Columbus office.

Photo Credit: Bandido of Oz via Compfight cc

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