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Drug Charges

Drug crimes in Ohio can include many offenses, ranging from misdemeanors with minimal sentences to felonies with very harsh punishments. Felony drug convictions can result in mandatory prison sentences and lead to a driver’s license suspension, denial of the right to vote and the inability to maintain or obtain professional positions, such as the healthcare industry, aviation or in public office positions.

Drug offenses can also be charged as federal offenses under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Federal drug charges usually result in more serious penalties and consequences than Ohio drug charges. A few commonly charged drug offenses in Ohio are:

Don’t become a casualty of the war on drugs. Entire task forces within the state of Ohio are specifically targeting individuals involved in drug-related activity. If you or a loved one believe that you are either being tracked for drug-related crimes or have been arrested, charged, and/or convicted of such offenses, it is important to contact a defense attorney immediately. Your criminal defense attorney will attempt to find defenses, exception or mitigating factors to your case to help you find the best possible outcome for your situation.

Columbus Drug Charge Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug offense in Columbus, Ohio, contact the Joslyn Law Firm. Brian D. Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm evaluates every Ohio drug charge meticulously and will strategize the most effective defense possible. He acknowledges that individual heartbeats are at the core of every case and with that understanding in view he proceeds with empathy and insight.

Call the Joslyn Law Firm for a free consultation about your drug charges at (614) 444-1900 in Ohio.


Ohio Drug Law Information Center


Drug Crime Violations and Statutes in Ohio

Chapter 2925 of the Ohio Revised Code governs all state drug charges in Ohio. The following is a list of some of the most common drug offenses in Ohio:

Trafficking in Drugs – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.03 – This offense is defined as the sale, shipment, transportation, distribution or delivery of any controlled substance. This offense can be a felony of the fifth, fourth, third, second or first degree, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property. If the offense is a certain controlled substance in Schedule I or II, it is Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs.

Illegal Manufacture of Drugs – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.04 – This offense is engaging in any part of production of a controlled substance. This offense can be a felony of the third, second or first degree, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property.

Possession of Controlled Substances – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.11 – Any person who knowingly obtains, possesses or uses a controlled substance can be charged with this offense. This offense can be a misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the fifth, fourth, third, second or first degree, depending on the type and amount of drug and whether the offense occurred near minors or school property. If the offense is a certain controlled substance in Schedule I or II, it is Aggravated Possession of Drugs.

Possession of Paraphernalia / Drug Abuse Instruments – Ohio Rev. Code § 2925.12 – Any person who knowingly makes, obtains, possesses or uses any instrument, article or thing that is intended to use or administer a controlled substance, and the thing has been used by the alleged offender. Examples can include hypodermics, syringes, papers, needles, plastic bags, cutting devices, spoons, razors, etc. This offense can be a misdemeanor of the first or second degree.


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Ohio’s Drug Schedule

The section 3719.41 of the Ohio Revised Code classifies drugs, or controlled substances, into schedules, from Schedule I to Schedule V. The schedules categorize controlled substances, drugs and medications. The schedules range from very addicting substances with more severe penalties for drug offenses (Schedule I) to the least addictive substances with less severe penalties for offenses involving drugs (Schedule V).

  • Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no known or accepted medical use in the United States. Some examples include heroin, marihuana and cathinone.

  • Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, but have known or accepted medical purposes in the United States. Examples include opium, hydrocodone, amphetamines, meth and PCP.

  • Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs, and have accepted medical uses in the United States. Common examples include LSD and pentobarbital.

  • Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and are accepted for medical use in the United States. Some examples include Xanax and Valium.

  • Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse and are commonly used for medical purposes in the United States. Examples in this schedule include ephedrine, if not listed in another schedule, and small amounts of narcotic preparation medications.


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Examples of Controlled Substances in Ohio

Controlled substances can include anything from prescription medications to illegal street drugs. Other common types of controlled substances are medications without prescriptions, any derivative or base of street drugs or medications, natural chemicals, plants, man-made substances, or any other substance that may be abused as a drug. Some examples of controlled substances in Ohio are:

Prescription Pills / Medications:

  • Zolpidem, also known as Ambien
  • Pure Hydrocodone
  • Pure Codeine
  • Oxymorphone, also known as Opana, Numorphan, Numorphone
  • Oxycodone Hydrochloride, also known as OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan
  • Morphine, also known as Roxanol, Kapanol
  • Methylphendiate, also known as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall
  • Methadone, also known as Dolophine, Methadose
  • Enzodiazepines, also known as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium)
  • Dextropropoxyphene, also known as Darvon, Darvocet
  • Codeine or Hydrocodone with an NSAID or acetaminophen, also known as Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet
  • Anabolic Steroids

Street Drugs / Recreational Drugs:

  • Marijuana / Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), also known as Cannabis, Pot, Weed, Ganja, Bud, Chronic
  • Salvia divinorum, also known as Salvinorin A, Salvia, Sally D
  • Psilocybin, also known as Psilocyn, Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms
  • Phenylcyclidine, also known as PCP, Angel Dust
  • Opium, also known as Poppy, Poppy Seeds, Opiates
  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Ecstasy, MDMA
  • Methamphetamine, also known as Meth, Speed, Crank
  • Mescaline, also known as Peyote, San Pedro, Achuma
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, Acid
  • Ketamine, also known as Special K
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, also known as GHB, the Date Rape Drug
  • Diacetylmorphine, also known as Heroin, Smack, Black Tar
  • Cathinone, also known as Bath Salts
  • Benzoylmethylecgonine, also known as Ecgonine, Cocaine, Powder, Blow, Coke
  • Benzoylecgonine, also known as Cocaine Metabolite
  • Amphetamines, also known as Uppers, Speed, Black Beauties, Bennies

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Penalties for Drug Crimes in Columbus, Ohio

The potential punishments an alleged offender can face for a drug offense depend on the charged crime, the severity of the offense, whether a weapon was used, the amount of the substance and whether the offense occurred near schools or with minor children. The following list describes suggested sentencing guidelines for Ohio drug charges:

  • Minor Misdemeanor – Fines up to $150;
  • Misdemeanor of the Fourth Degree – Jail time up to 30 days and/or fines not exceeding $250;
  • Misdemeanor of the Third Degree – Up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500;
  • Misdemeanor of the Second Degree – Jail sentence not more than 90 days and/or a fine up to $750;
  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree – Up to 180 days in jail and/or fines up to $1,000;
  • Felony of the Fifth Degree – Prison time from six to 12 months and/or fines up to $2,500;
  • Felony of the Fourth Degree – Prison sentence from six to 18 months and/or fines not more than $5,000;
  • Felony of the Third Degree – Prison sentence ranging from one to five years and/or fines not more than $10,000;
  • Felony of the Second Degree – Sentence ranges from two to eight years in prison and/or fines not exceeding $15,000; and
  • Felony of the First Degree – Ohio prison sentence ranging from three to 10 years and/or fines up to $20,000.

The preceding list is only a suggested guideline for Ohio, and a person convicted of drug charges in Columbus can face different penalties depending on the facts of their particular case.


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Federal Controlled Substances Act

The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 807 et seq.) defines federal drug charges and the penalties that can result from these charges. A person can be charged with a federal drug offense of they commit an offense while crossing state borders or entering Ohio from another country while committing a drug offense. However, since drugs often come from different countries and there are usually many people involved in drug transactions, a person can be charged with a federal drug offenses even while in the state of Ohio.

The Controlled Substance Act also categorizes controlled substances into Schedules similar to Ohio’s schedule of drugs, with Schedule I drugs categorized as most likely to be abused with severe penalties, and Schedule V drugs as the least likely to be abused with the least severe penalties.

Convictions for federal drug charges are usually much harsher than state sentences and can lead to longer prison sentences and much greater fines.


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Drug Resources in Columbus, Ohio

Students for Sensible Drug Policy – SSDP is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society.

SSDP at The Ohio State University
154 W 12th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

The Drug Policy Alliance – This site is dedicated to the notion that drug policies must be based upon health, compassion, science and human rights. The articles found on these pages attempt to refute and debunk theories of marijuana use, addiction, risk and dependence and aims to educate people from all spheres of society about drugs and the War on Drugs. The goal is also to foster awareness about medical marijuana use.

Data on the War on Drugs - This site is a comprehensive guide to a spectrum of services, information and treatment resources for people with drug addictions. The pages also address issues such as drug testing, usage, overdosing, civil rights, jail/prison time and a variety of other matters.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Offers information on all types of drugs and treatment for addiction, while educating parents, students, teachers and the medical profession on the issues involved in drug abuse. NIDA’s goal is to provide strategic support and conduct research on such issues, to improve prevention and treatment programs, and to address policy issues relating to drug addiction and treatment.

Ohio Drug Courts- Ohio Drug Courts offer alternative programs to drug offenders in order to avoid jail/prison time. Examples of such alternatives include probation or rehabilitation programs. The page also provides general information on the Ohio Supreme Court and the judicial system.

Treatment is Essential to Success (TIES) – This program is the drug court in Franklin County, and is administered by judges in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. The program’s coordinator can be reached at:

TIES Program Coordinator
Catherine Richards, LISW
Franklin County Court of Common Pleas
369 S. High St., Courtroom 6B
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 525-7645

Drug Enforcement Administration – The DEA is a national governmental agency that seeks to enforce the United States’ laws and regulations regarding medications, street drugs, and controlled substances.

Federal Drug Penalties – This link is to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s resources pertaining to specific federal drug charges and penalties for the offenses, including prison sentences and fines for possessing, trafficking and distributing controlled substances.

Narcotics Anonymous – Narcotics Anonymous, or NA, is a national non-profit organization created for those suffering from a drug addiction as a means to meet and support others recovering from drug addictions in order to stay drug-free. The website contains more information and where meetings are held in Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio Regional Service Committee of Narcotics Anonymous – This website is dedicated to providing current information about the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship in the state of Ohio.

P.O. Box 546
Columbus, OH 43216
Phone: 614-252-1700

Ohio Department of Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services – This site provides information on addiction, intervention, recovery and treatment. ODADAS also aims to reduce the stigma of drug addiction, mental health and behavioral issues.

280 North High Street, 12th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-2550
Phone: (614) 466-3445

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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Drug Arrest Attorney

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today for a consultation about your drug charge in Columbus, Ohio. It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to hear the facts of your particular case, and help you find any possible defenses or exceptions to the charges against you. Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your drug offense in Franklin County or surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.