What Amount of Drugs Is Considered Trafficking in Ohio?

Drug Crimes

June 11, 2024

Ohio aggressively prosecutes drug crime charges, and anyone facing these charges should be aware that their future is at stake. Trafficking charges can come with particularly harsh penalties, including significant prison sentences and fines for the most severe offenses. Trafficking charges encompass the sale, distribution, transportation, or delivery of any amount of a controlled substance, although limited exceptions apply. Penalties upon conviction depend on the amount of the substance in question. Here is what you need to know about drug trafficking charges in Ohio.

Trafficking Charges Apply to Many Substances and Activities

Ohio’s drug trafficking statute prohibits selling, offering to sell, preparing for shipment, shipping, transporting, delivering, preparing for distribution, or distributing a controlled substance. Controlled substances are defined in Ohio’s laws and include many common illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and fentanyl-related compounds.

The law specifies that simply offering to sell drugs constitutes trafficking. Actually completing the transaction is not required to face charges. Additionally, possessing a large quantity of drugs may lead to trafficking charges on the presumption that the drugs were intended for distribution.

Penalties Vary Based on Drug Type and Quantity

The potential penalties for a drug trafficking conviction depend on the type and amount of controlled substance involved. The statute categorizes controlled substances into different groups like marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, hashish, fentanyl-related compounds, and controlled substance analogs.

Within each drug category, the quantity determines the severity of the charge and possible sentence. For example, trafficking less than 200 grams of marijuana is a felony of the fifth degree. But trafficking over 40,000 grams of marijuana is a felony of the second degree that requires a mandatory prison term of eight years.

In general, larger quantities lead to more severe charges for trafficking any given substance. The location of the offense, such as in the vicinity of a school or juvenile, can also elevate charges. Prior drug convictions may result in more severe consequences as well.

Mandatory Fines Often Apply

In addition to potential jail or prison time, Ohio’s trafficking law specifies mandatory fines for many offenses. The fine amounts are substantial, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 or more depending on the level of felony involved. Courts must impose the mandatory fine unless they determine that the offender is indigent.

These steep financial penalties, combined with the stigma of a felony record and likely prison sentence, underscore the severity of drug trafficking charges. Anyone accused of this offense must take the matter seriously and secure qualified legal counsel immediately.

Contact an Experienced Drug Crimes Attorney Today

If you are facing drug trafficking charges in Ohio, your future depends on the quality of your legal representation. The seasoned attorneys at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder have more than 50 years of combined experience defending Ohioans in court, and we are ready to put our skills to work for you. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation with an Akron criminal defense attorney.