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Ohio Criminal law: Handling of possession charges

The consequences associated with drug-related crimes can do a real number on one's personal and professional life if convicted. In Ohio and elsewhere, the drug crime most commonly seen is possession. Depending on the facts of one's case, this may be handled at either the state or federal level. Regardless, a criminal law attorney will be able to assist those facing drug crime accusations in fighting for the best outcomes possible.

If one is charged with drug possession, it means that he or she was found to have an illegal substance on his or her person or in his or her vehicle or home. Possession cases typically involve marijuana, cocaine and heroin. How one is charged and what consequences he or she may face will depend on the drug type and quantity found, as well as the intent of the accused individual.

Drug possession charges will fall under one of two categories: simple possession -- carrying for personal use, or possession with intent to distribute -- carrying in order to sell. Simple possession cases are commonly handled in state court, though, and cases involving cocaine may be moved to federal court. Cases of possession with the intent to distribute, on the other hand, are generally prosecuted in federal court.

Drug paraphernalia charges will often accompany possession charges. This is because certain equipment is typically needed in order to take, manufacture and package drugs. Examples of drug paraphernalia include:

  • Syringes
  • Rolling papers
  • Bongs
  • Pipes
  • Scales
  • Packaging materials

An Ohio resident who is facing a possession charge has the right to defend him or herself in criminal court. As these cases can be rather complex, this will not prove to be an easy task. However, a criminal law attorney will be able to help the accused make informed decisions regarding his or her case, allowing one to pursue the best possible legal course.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Overview", Accessed on March 29, 2017

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