Heroin Possession Charges in Columbus, OH

A Guide from Premier Legal Team in Ohio

As one of the world’s deadliest illegal substances, heroin comes with a high penalty for those found guilty of possessing or trafficking it. If you have been charged with heroin possession or trafficking, it is imperative that you seek professional legal representation as quickly as possible.

Steven S. Nolder Law Firm has over 34 years of experience helping clients across Columbus, OH with their drug-related cases. Our experienced attorney will work diligently to give you thorough legal counsel and representation to help you through your difficult case.

We have compiled a guide to Ohio state heroin laws, with information regarding heroin possessing and trafficking penalties, as well as how our attorney can help you with your case.

Heroin Possession

If you are caught in possession of heroin in the State of Ohio, you can face thousands of dollars in penalties and up to a decade in prison. See the information below for a quick breakdown of heroin possession penalties based on amount.

  • Up to 1 gram: 5th degree, 6-12 months in prison (in favor of community control)
  • 1 to < 5 grams: 4th degree, 6-18 months in prison (in favor of community control)
  • 5 to < 10 grams: 3rd degree, 9 months to 3 years in prison (in favor of community control)
  • 10 to < 50 grams: 2nd degree, 2-8 years in prison (mandatory)
  • 50 to <100 grams: 1st degree, 3-10 years in prison (mandatory)
  • 100 grams or more: Major drug offense (MDO), 11 years in prison (mandatory)

Heroin Trafficking

In the State of Ohio, drug trafficking is defined as selling, offering, or packaging for delivery a “controlled substance,” as stipulated by the Ohio Revised Code. “Controlled substances” are classified under five schedules, with I being the most severe and V being the least severe. The severity of a heroin trafficking conviction is based on the amount of heroin found.

Different amounts with corresponding convictions are detailed below.

  • up to 1 gram: 5th degree (6-12 months)
  • 1 to <5 grams: 4th degree (6-18 months)
  • 5 to <10 grams: 3rd degree, presumption in favor of prison time (9 months – 3 years)
  • 10 to 50 grams: 2nd degree, prison time mandatory (2 – 8years)
  • 50 to <100 grams: 1st degree, prison time mandatory (3-10 years)
  • 100 grams or more: Major drug offense (MDO), maximum prison time (11 years)

Federal Prosecution

If you are charged with: conspiracy to either possess with intent to distribute or conspiracy to distribute heroin; possession with intent to distribute heroin; or distribution of heroin, the amount of heroin alleged in the indictment will drive the statutory penalties you face. If the grand jury alleges either no quantity or less than 100 grams, the statutory penalty is 0-20 years imprisonment. If the grand jury alleges 100 grams or more, then the statutory penalty is 5-40 years imprisonment. Finally, if the grand jury alleges the quantity was more than 1000 grams, the statutory penalty is 10 years to life imprisonment.

Difference Between Actual and Constructive Possession

You may be subject to heroin possession charges for a variety of reasons. In fact, Ohio law stipulates you may be charged with possession regardless of whether you owned the drugs. The two types of charges are:

  • Active Possession – This describes a situation in which police officers find the drugs on you when no one else has equal access.
  • Constructive Possession – When law enforcement believes there are multiple people with knowledge and access to the drugs, constructive possession may be the charge. Scenarios include shared homes and cars with several passengers.

Drug Courts

Heroin possession penalties are severe, but you may be eligible to avoid incarceration through participation in a drug court program. The goal of these programs is to rehabilitate offenders and stop the cycle of drug abuse. As a result of completing the course, your charges may be reduced or dismissed entirely. To be eligible for drug court, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Diagnosis of a chemical dependency following a substance abuse evaluation
  • Be motivated to change through treatment
  • Meet guidelines for a presumption of probation
  • Be convicted of a 4th- or 5th-degree offense

However, individuals are disqualified from participation in the program if:

  • Charges were sexually oriented or violent
  • The offense involved a firearm
  • The offender has prior felony convictions
  • The offender has previous drug trafficking charges
  • The offender was previously convicted of a violent crime

Secondary Consequences for a Heroin Possession Conviction in OH

In addition to jail time, probation, fines, and other legal penalties, you are subject to a wide range of secondary consequences following a felony possession of heroin conviction. Those who have been convicted of heroin possession often face:

  • Difficulty securing employment
  • Revocation of professional licenses
  • Challenges renting housing
  • Inability to attend a college or university
  • Ineligibility for student loans
  • Custody of children complications

Contact Our Firm, Get the Representation You Need

If you have been charged with a heroin-related crime, it is imperative to seek trusted representation as quickly as possible. At Steven S. Nolder Law Firm, LPA, our attorney has decades of experience helping individuals across Ohio with their drug-related cases. We can get you the counsel and representation you need to get the settlement you deserve.

To schedule, contact our firm today!