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What factors will make a drug charge worse?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Drug Charges

If someone is convicted of drug possession in Ohio, they could face serious repercussions. A conviction could lead to incarceration, fines, driver’s license suspension and probation. However, the penalties for drug possession vary based on a number of factors, including the schedule, quantity and use of a drug.

Here is what you should know about each of the factors that affect a drug possession conviction.

What is the schedule of a drug?

Drugs are categorized into five schedules, defined under the Controlled Substance Act. Schedules determine the severity of a drug and its medical usage. The higher a drug schedule is, the more likely it is to be abused and not used for medical purposes.

Schedule I and II substances are the highest rating of drug schedules, including cocaine and heroin. Schedule III, IV and V drugs may include cough medicine, steroids and pain relievers, which can be bought over the counter or with a prescription or used by medical professionals.

How much of a drug was found?

The quantity of a drug can greatly affect a criminal case. A larger quantity of drugs could imply it was being smuggled. While large quantities of substances may increase penalties, smaller quantities of higher-scheduled drugs could also lead to severe penalties.

Being caught with a small amount of illicit drugs may lead to a first-degree misdemeanor, up to 180 days behind bars and a $1,000 fine. A bulk amount of substances can lead to 9 months in jail and $5,000 in fines as a fourth-degree felony.

What was the use of a drug?

Illegal substances that were used recreationally may incite lesser penalties than substances that were being sold or manufactured.

When defending against drug possession charges, it can help to understand your legal options.