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Should I hire a lawyer if I have been charged with a drug offense?

Being charged with any drug offense is a matter that you should take seriously. The consequences of a drug conviction can include jail, prison time, or probation. Additionally, you may be subject to expensive fines, testing, or even court-ordered counseling. All of which can get very expensive.

Oftentimes one incident results in charges for multiple violations. However, even if the charge is a simple misdemeanor possession charge, the consequences of a conviction on your record can haunt you for many years. Having a drug-related conviction can affect your ability to obtain student financial aid or certain professional licenses. Your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked. It could affect your ability to be hired for a job. If you have been charged with a drug offense and you value your future, then hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential.

In Ohio, commonly charged drug charges include:

  • Possession of Controlled Substances
  • Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments
  • Illegal Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Illegal Assembly, Possession for Manufacture
  • Illegal Manufacture, Cultivation
  • Trafficking, Aggravated Trafficking

To further complicate the matter, drugs are classified based on a Federal Drug Schedule (https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling). The penalties for a drug charge are determined by the amount and type of drug involved in the incident with Schedule I drugs having steeper penalties than those classified as Schedule IV.

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples are heroin, LSD, marijuana (cannabis), ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote.

Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Examples of Schedule II drugs are Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl, Adderall, and Ritalin.

Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drug abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage, ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.

Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Examples include Xanax, Soma, Valium, Ambien, Tramadol.

Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.

Depending on the facts surrounding the incident, the actions may violate both State and Federal laws. For example, if the incident involved crossing state lines or occurred in more than one state, if it occurred on federal land, or if it involved the internet or other long-distance communication methods then charges may be filed under Federal Court.

Any incident involving illegal substances is a serious matter. The consequences can be further reaching than you may realize. Having an experienced attorney is essential to protecting your interests and reaching the most favorable outcome.

The lawyers at Hoover Kacyon, LLC., are dedicated to supporting our clients. We deliver the highest quality legal representation from a team of professionals while also providing excellent customer service. Getting the best possible outcome is our goal.