Misdemeanor vs. Felony Drug Charges in Columbus
Columbus Experienced Lawyers For Drug Offenses
Freedom is one of the basic tenets of life in the United States. Generally speaking, you should be able to conduct your affairs however you wish so long as you aren’t hurting anyone. However, the concept of freedom becomes a bit more complicated when it comes to illegal drugs. If you are arrested and charged with possessing, manufacturing, cultivating, or selling illegal drugs, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug charge. For help understanding your charge, consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer from Steven S. Nolder Law Firm. We’re honored to provide our clients with drug crime defense in Columbus.
Drug misdemeanors are considered less serious than drug felonies and usually carry milder punishments. Misdemeanor classifications go from minor misdemeanors to first degree misdemeanors, with first-degree offenses being the most serious.
- Offenses: Misdemeanor drug charges include possessing small amount of illegal drugs, possessing drug paraphernalia, and cultivating less than 200 grams of marijuana. Generally speaking, these crimes are not as dangerous as felonies.
- Punishment: Punishments for misdemeanors are relatively mild, and may include fines, mandatory drug treatment, possible driver’s license suspension, and community service. A first-degree drug misdemeanor may be punishable by up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
- Consequences: Unless your drug offense attorney works out a deal, a misdemeanor will end up on your permanent criminal record. If you’re not a citizen, it could lead to your removal or deportation from the United States. This can make it difficult to find a job, find a place to live, stay in school, or take out a loan.
The most serious drug offenses are deemed felonies. Felonies are also classified by degrees, with first-degree felonies being the most serious.
- Offenses: Possessing large amounts of drugs with the intent to sell, trafficking drugs across state lines, and manufacturing large quantities of illegal drugs are all examples of drug felonies. Some misdemeanors are elevated to felonies if firearms or children are involved.
- Punishment: Drug felonies are punishable by up to $20,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. A conviction may also lead to a license suspension of at least six months.
- Consequences: In addition to all the consequences that come with a misdemeanor, a felony comes with many more effects. For example, those convicted of felonies cannot vote or own firearms. Like misdemeanors, if you’re not a citizen, it could lead to your removal or deportation from the United States.
If you’ve been charged with either a drug felony or a misdemeanor, let the Columbus criminal defense attorneys at Steven S. Nolder Law Firm represent your interests in court. Call our Columbus law office at (614) 285-3059 to set up an initial consultation.