Drug Crime Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati

Drug Crime Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati

Written By: Moermond & Mulligan, LLC

Last Updated: 01-24-2024

Being accused of a drug crime is a serious matter, and it’s crucial to have an experienced drug crime defense lawyer on your side to defend your rights and freedom. Law enforcement agencies are known for their relentless pursuit of drug offenders, contributing to the high incarceration rate for drug crimes in the United States. A conviction for a drug-related offense could result in imprisonment, substantial fines, and a criminal record that could negatively impact your employment prospects, access to housing, and more.

At Moermond & Mulligan, LLC, our Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers have over 50 years of combined legal experience representing those facing drug charges in our community. Our goal is to ensure that your voice will be heard and that you will be treated fairly.

Why choose our Cincinnati drug crimes attorneys to represent you? Here are a few reasons:

  • Attorney L. Patrick Mulligan is a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Attorneys Brad Moermond and L. Patrick Mulligan both served as prosecutors, which gives them unique insight into how the other side will approach their case
  • We are unafraid to take your case to trial, if necessary
  • Our team has successfully handled thousands of cases

Don’t let a drug crime charge alter the course of your life – let us fight for your rights and future. Call us or contact us online today for a confidential case evaluation.

Table Of Contents

    Types of Drug Crimes We Handle

    We have extensive experience defending people in Cincinnati facing a wide range of drug charges. Some common drug charges we handle include the following:

    • Possession of a Controlled Substance – If an individual knowingly possesses a drug listed on the Ohio Controlled Substances Schedule without a valid prescription, they could face charges. The severity of the charge and potential penalties vary depending on the type and amount of the substance in question.
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute – A person possessing a controlled substance intending to sell or distribute it to others could be charged with intent to distribute. The prosecution must prove both possession and the intent to distribute to secure a conviction. The penalties for this offense are typically more severe than simple possession.
    • Drug Trafficking – Involves transporting, selling, or distributing controlled substances. This charge can result in state or federal prosecution, depending on the circumstances. Penalties may include lengthy prison sentences, significant fines, and asset forfeiture.
    • Drug Manufacturing – Drug manufacturing is the production or cultivation of controlled substances, such as the illegal production of methamphetamine or the cultivation of marijuana plants. These charges carry severe penalties, including potential mandatory minimum sentences.
    • Prescription Drug Fraud – Involves the illegal acquisition, possession, or distribution of prescription medications. This may include forging prescriptions, doctor shopping, or stealing prescription pads. Penalties for this offense vary but can be severe, particularly if large quantities of prescription drugs are involved.
    • Marijuana-Related Offenses – Despite the growing trend of marijuana legalization across the United States, marijuana remains illegal for recreational use in Ohio. Individuals with proper authorization are allowed to buy and consume marijuana for medicinal purposes per the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. Charges related to marijuana can range from simple possession to more serious offenses like trafficking or cultivation.
    • Drug Paraphernalia Charges – Possessing, selling, or manufacturing drug paraphernalia—items used to consume, produce, or store controlled substances can result in criminal charges. These charges typically carry less severe penalties than drug possession or distribution offenses but can still significantly impact your life.

    Ohio Drug Charge Penalties and Schedules

    Controlled substances in Ohio are classified into five “schedules,” ranging from the most serious to the least serious substances according to Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11 and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) guidelines. Controlled substances are classified according to the following schedules based on their accepted medical use and potential for addiction:

    Schedule I

    These drugs include LSD, heroin, peyote, methaqualone, and marijuana*. They have no accepted medical use* and significant potential for addiction.

    Schedule II

    Drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), and fentanyl. They have limited accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse and addiction.

    Schedule III

    Drugs in this category, such as Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone, have some accepted medical use and a moderate risk for addiction and abuse.

    Schedule IV

    Includes drugs like Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, and Valium. They have accepted medical use with a prescription and a low-to-moderate risk for dependence.

    Schedule V

    Examples of Schedule V drugs are Robitussin AC, Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin. These drugs have accepted medical use for prescription and over-the-counter purposes, with a low risk for abuse or addiction.

    Penalties for drug charges in Ohio can vary depending on the schedule of the controlled substance and the amount in possession. Schedule I and II drugs carry the most severe penalties, while Schedule V drugs generally have lesser consequences. Understanding the specific penalties associated with the drug schedule and the amount involved in your case is essential to prepare an appropriate defense.

    Don’t let a drug crime charge alter the course of your life – let us fight for your rights and future. Call us or contact us online today for a confidential case evaluation. CONTACT US

    Penalties for Drug Convictions in Ohio

    Several factors could influence the severity of the penalties for a drug conviction in Ohio, including the type and amount of the controlled substance, the presence of firearms or other weapons, prior criminal history, and whether the offense occurred near a school or other protected area. In general, penalties might include:

    • Fines and incarceration – The severity of these penalties will vary based on the specifics of the offense. For example, a first-time offender convicted of simple possession of a small amount of a controlled substance may face a relatively small fine and minimal jail time, while an individual convicted of drug trafficking could face substantial fines and a lengthy prison sentence.
    • Probation and community service – In some cases, judges may impose probation or community service as part of a drug conviction sentence. These alternatives to incarceration can help individuals avoid the negative consequences of spending time in jail while still holding them accountable for their actions. Probation typically involves regular check-ins with a probation officer and adherence to specific rules, while community service requires the offender to complete a certain number of hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community.
    • Mandatory minimum sentences – Certain drug offenses (typically first and second-degree felony offenses) will carry mandatory minimum sentences, which means that the judge must impose a specific minimum term of imprisonment upon conviction. These sentences typically apply to more serious drug crimes, such as drug trafficking or manufacturing, and can result in lengthy prison terms.
    • Enhanced penalties for repeat offenses – Repeat drug offenders in Ohio may face enhanced penalties, including increased fines and longer prison sentences. The severity of these enhancements depends on the individual’s prior criminal history and the specifics of the current offense.

    Consequences of a Drug Conviction

    A drug conviction can have far-reaching effects on an individual’s life beyond the immediate penalties imposed by the court. Some of these consequences include:

    • Employment Opportunities – A drug conviction on your criminal record could make obtaining or keeping employment difficult. Many employers conduct background checks and may hesitate to hire someone with a criminal history, particularly if the offense is drug-related.
    • Loss of Professional Licenses – Certain professions require licensure or certification, and a drug conviction can lead to the suspension or revocation of these credentials. This may impact your ability to work in your chosen field, particularly in healthcare, education, or other regulated industries.
    • Negatively Affect Housing and Public Benefits – A drug conviction can also impact your ability to secure housing since landlords often conduct background checks on prospective tenants. Individuals with drug convictions might also be ineligible for some public benefits, such as food assistance or public housing.
    • Educational Opportunities and Financial Aid – A drug conviction could limit your access to educational opportunities by making you ineligible for scholarships or financial aid programs. Some colleges and universities may also deny admission to applicants with drug convictions on their records.
    • Immigration Consequences – Non-citizens convicted of drug offenses may face immigration consequences, including the possibility of deportation or denial of naturalization.

    Intervention in Lieu of Conviction (IILC)

    Ohio offers an Intervention in Lieu of Conviction (IILC) program established by Ohio Rev. Code §2951.041 to some individuals facing low-level drug charges. This program enables eligible individuals to undergo drug rehabilitation and complete a period of community supervision, commonly referred to as probation, as an alternative to a conviction. Similar to other pretrial diversion programs, this probation comes with several conditions. Participants must abstain from drug and alcohol use, submit to testing, and may be required to attend counseling, perform community service, and make restitution to any victims involved.

    Participants can avoid a criminal conviction by successfully completing the IILC program since the court will dismiss the original charges. Additionally, they may be eligible to have the arrest record sealed, although you should always talk to your attorney before pursuing this option.

    Failure to complete any aspect of the alcohol or drug rehabilitation program or any violation of the community supervision terms will result in removal from the IILC program. Subsequently, the participant will be found guilty of the original offense and may face the maximum jail or prison sentence applicable for that crime.

    Contact a Cincinnati Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Today

    Don’t let a drug charge define your future. At Moermond & Mulligan, LLP, our Cincinnati drug crime defense attorneys understand how a drug conviction could impact your life. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and minimizing the impact these charges might have. Contact us by phone or online today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation in detail with an understanding and knowledgeable member of our team.


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