What Are the Four Major Drugs That Are Associated with Crimes?

Drug Crimes

May 28, 2024

Facing any criminal charge can be overwhelming and stressful. However, when drugs are involved in the crime, the case can become more complicated. Factors such as possession, intoxication, and addiction can have a significant effect on the severity of the charges, the complexity of your case, and the penalties you may face if you’re convicted. 

While many drugs are associated with crimes throughout Ohio, the most common drugs involved in criminal court cases are alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Here is what you need to know about these drugs in the context of criminal law.


Alcohol, although legal for adults 21 and older, is one of the most common substances associated with criminal activities. Alcohol-related crimes can include driving under the influence (DUI), disorderly conduct, and assault. In Ohio, a DUI offense can lead to jail time, fines, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs. Repeat offenders face even harsher penalties. Alcohol can also exacerbate other crimes, such as domestic violence or disorderly conduct, leading to more severe charges and consequences.


Marijuana is a commonly used drug that has recently become legal in Ohio for recreational purposes. Furthermore, the state has legalized medical marijuana for certain qualifying conditions. However, while growing and consuming marijuana is permissible under state law, selling marijuana to those without medical approval can lead to criminal charges, with penalties varying based on the amount being sold. The unauthorized sale of more than 2.5 ounces (200 grams) of marijuana is a felony. The sale of any amount of marijuana to individuals under the age of 21 is also illegal. 


Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that is illegal in Ohio. Possession of cocaine is a felony offense, with penalties increasing based on the amount involved. Cocaine-related crimes can include possession, trafficking, and distribution. The presence of cocaine can also lead to more severe charges for other crimes, such as assault or theft.


Heroin is an illegal opioid drug that has contributed to the ongoing opioid epidemic in Ohio. Possession of heroin is a felony offense, with strict penalties that increase based on the amount involved. Heroin-related crimes can include possession, trafficking, and distribution. The presence of heroin can also lead to more severe charges for other crimes, such as burglary or robbery, as individuals may commit these crimes to fund their addiction.

Facing Drug-Related Criminal Charges? Call DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder

If you are facing criminal charges involving the above drugs or any other substance, the attorneys at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder are here to help. We have over 50 years of combined experience serving clients throughout Portage, Stark, Wayne, and Medina counties. We will use our legal knowledge and skills to have your charges dismissed or secure an acquittal.

If you are convicted, we will argue for the least severe penalties possible. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced Ohio defense attorney.