Felony Drug Possession

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 15,000 criminal cases and are consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms. We are highly experienced felony drug possession lawyers in Columbus, OH and all of central Ohio. Experience matters when dealing with these cases, which prosecutors and judges handle differently on a case-by-case basis. We know what to expect and what to do to get the best result possible.

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(614) 444-1900

Felony Drug Possession

Charges of felony drug possession in Ohio—defined as obtaining or keeping an illegal substance—risk your freedom, reputation, and way of life. Conviction could bring a prison sentence of up to 10 years and $20,000 in fines. You may even lose your voting rights and driving privileges. 

Our firm will put our more than 50 years of combined legal experience to help you avoid such consequences. A Columbus felony drug possession lawyer from Joslyn Law Firm will build a defense to:

  • Get your charges reduced or dropped
  • Keep you out of jail
  • Minimize other penalties that threaten to disrupt your life
  • Help you return to your normal life as soon as possible

Our criminal defense lawyers have defended thousands of clients charged with drug trafficking and other felonies. Joslyn Law Firm’s successful track record shows that getting charged doesn’t mean getting convicted. 

Put Over Five Decades of Criminal Defense Strategy to Work for You

Joslyn Law Firm has helped people facing felony drug possession get results like these:

  • Charges dismissed: A young man with aspirations of building his own business had no previous criminal record, but he faced two drug possession charges in two counties after buying substances for friends. After months of planning our client’s strategy, both cases were dismissed.  
  • Case closed: A prominent business owner was passing through Columbus when he was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. He was arrested and charged with narcotics possession. We worked to help him avoid the worst penalties of a fifth-degree felony. 

Our commitment and drive to client success have earned us local and national recognition:

  • Top Criminal Lawyer by Columbus CEO Magazine
  • 10 Best Criminal Defense Firms in Ohio by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Top 100 Trial Attorneys by The National Trial Lawyers Association

People from all walks of life hire Joslyn Law Firm to defend them. Celebrities, police officers, professional athletes, students, and others have trusted our attorneys to represent them as they grapple with possibly spending years in jail, paying thousands of dollars in fines, and losing their rights and freedoms. We plan to employ all our years of experience and resources to secure a decision that allows you to live a normal life.

We have built defense strategies for over 20,000 cases based on their unique circumstances. We use this experience to obtain a favorable result for you. Possible defense drug crime strategies may include:

  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Medical exception if the charge was for marijuana possession
  • Entrapment
  • The drugs in question weren’t yours
  • The drugs were not controlled substances

We care about your well-being and freedom. Our defense strategies aim to keep you out of jail, reduce or dismiss all the felony drug charges, and allow you to live as a free citizen. Find out how our attorneys will advocate for you and build your felony drug possession defense. Call us today at (614) 444-1900 for a free and confidential consultation.

Federal Drug Possession Information Center

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Felony Drug Possession under Ohio Law

According to O.R.C. § 2925.11, no person shall knowingly obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance.

Some of the substances that the state of Ohio has deemed illegal are:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • L.S.D.
  • Heroin
  • Hashish
  • Methamphetamines

Different penalties apply according to defined bulk amounts and whether the drug involved is a Schedule I (most dangerous), Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V controlled substance.

O.R.C. § 2925.01 defines the bulk amount as “an amount equal to or exceeding 10 grams or 25-unit doses of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance which is, or which contains any amount of a Schedule I opiate or opium derivative, or cocaine.”

To receive a felony charge for marijuana possession, you must be found with more than 200g at the time of arrest.

As for the penalties, a drug possession charge considered a felony can range from a 1st degree (most severe) to a 5th degree (least severe), depending on the type of drug, the amount, and if there was an intent to sell. A felony in Ohio can come with a presumptive sentence of six months to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000 (O.R.C. § 2929.14).


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Penalties for Felony Drug Possession in Columbus

The current penalties for felony drug possession are:

Type of Felony Prison Time Maximum Fines
F-5 6 to 12 months $2,500 
F-4 6 to 18 months $5,000 
F-3 9 months to 3 years $10,000 
F-2 2 to 8 years $15,000 
F-1 3 to 11 years $20,000 


The type of drug and the amount will also play a role in the type of penalties you face.

For marijuana:

Type of Felony Possession Amount
F-5 200 grams to less than 1 kilogram of marijuana
F-3 1 kilogram to less than 5 kilograms of marijuana
F-3 5 kilograms to less than 20 kilograms of marijuana
F-2 20 kilograms to less than 40 kilograms of marijuana
F-1 40 kilograms or more of marijuana


For cocaine:

Type of Felony Possession Amount
F-5 Less than 5 grams of cocaine
F-4 5 grams to less than 10 grams of cocaine
F-3 10 grams to less than 20 grams of cocaine
F-2 20 grams to less than 27 grams of cocaine
F-1 for Possession 27 grams to less than 100 grams of cocaine
F-1 for a major offender More than 100 grams of cocaine


For LSD (liquid or solid):

Type of Felony Possession Amount
F-5 Less than 1 gram of LSD
F-4 1 gram to less than 5 grams of LSD
F-3 5 grams to less than 25 grams of LSD
F-2 25 grams to less than 100 grams of LSD
F-1 (Possession) 100 grams to less than 500 grams of LSD
F-1 (Major Drug Offender) 500 grams or more of LSD


For heroin:

Type of Felony Possession Amount
F-5 Less than 1 gram of heroin
F-4 1 gram to less than 5 grams of heroin
F-3 5 grams to less than 10 grams of heroin
F-2 10 grams to less than 50 grams of heroin
F-1 (Possession) 50 grams to less than 100 grams of heroin
F-1 (Major Drug Offender) 100 grams or more of heroin


For fentanyl-related compound:

Type of Felony Possession Amount
F-5 Less than 1 gram of fentanyl-related compound
F-4 1 gram to less than 5 grams of fentanyl-related compound
F-3 5 grams to less than 10 grams of fentanyl-related compound
F-2 10 grams to less than 20 grams of fentanyl-related compound
F-1 (Possession) 20 grams to less than 50 grams, OR 50 grams to less than 100 grams of fentanyl-related compound
F-1 Major Drug Offender 100 grams or more of fentanyl-related compound


For Schedule I or II drugs:

Type of Felony Possession Amount
F-5 Less than the defined bulk amount of a Schedule I or II drug
F-4 Bulk amount up to less than 5 times the bulk amount of a Schedule I or II drug
F-3 Bulk amount up to less than 5 times the bulk amount of a Schedule I or II drug
F-2 5 times the bulk amount to less than 50 times the bulk amount of a Schedule I or II drug
F-1 (Possession) 50 times the bulk amount to less than 100 times the bulk amount of a Schedule I or II drug
F-1 (Major Drug Offender) 100 times the bulk amount or more of a Schedule I or II drug


For Schedule III, IV, or V Drugs:

Type of Felony Possession Amount
F-4 Bulk amount up to less than 5 times the bulk amount of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug
F-3 5 times the bulk amount up to less than 50 times the bulk amount of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug
F-2 50 times the bulk amount or more of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug

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Mandatory Driver’s License Suspension

Nearly every drug offense in Ohio carries a mandatory administrative license suspension of six months to three years for those convicted. This is the case even if you were not arrested while driving a car or even sitting in one. All felony drug charges will come with this provision. If you were already driving with a suspended license, you may be required to serve mandatory jail time or forfeit your vehicle.

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Enhanced Charges if a Weapon or Firearm Was Involved

Under 18 U.S. Code § 924, if you had a weapon or firearm at your arrest for drug possession, you may face enhanced charges. For example, one of these penalties is at least 15 years in prison if convicted.

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Elements of Possession

In regards to the elements necessary to charge for possession, the prosecution must show evidence that the offender had control over the controlled substance in question and/or a reasonable belief that the substance possessed is, in fact, illegal. Reasonable belief is generally defined by what an average person or an individual with similar knowledge of or familiarity with the substance would believe under the circumstances.

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Evidence in Felony Drug Possession Cases

The prosecution will employ sophisticated tactics to investigate your drug possession case. With these techniques, they may find different forms of evidence to convict you, such as:

  • Video surveillance
  • Police body cam footage
  • Witness statements, including from police officers
  • Photos of the drugs
  • Audio records
  • Text messages
  • Computer files
  • Emails
  • DNA evidence
  • Crime lab results
  • Your criminal history

Our defense attorneys will review the prosecution’s evidence and look for inconsistencies and gaps in their version of what happened. From there, we will cross-examine their witnesses and present our own evidence to convince the jury that you deserve a not-guilty verdict.

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Defenses in a Felony Drug Possession Case

Our felony drug possession lawyers will form a defense strategy that helps keep you from going to prison and get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Depending on the nature of your charges, we may employ one or more of these defense strategies:

  • The drugs are someone else’s: You may not have known that you had the drugs in your possession, or they may not have been yours.
  • Chain of custody failure: The drugs may be missing, or the arresting officer may have mishandled or transported them improperly.
  • Entrapment: A police officer or an informant coerces, threatens, harasses, or sets you up to commit a crime.
  • Unlawful search and seizure: Usually, law enforcement must have probable cause and a warrant to search your person or your property. An example of this violation would be if they opened the trunk of your car without your permission or searched your house without a warrant.
  • No Miranda Rights read: In most cases, law enforcement must read you your Miranda Rights when they arrest you. If they did not, your attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence that law enforcement illegally obtained at that time.

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Drug Possession Resources for Columbus, OH Residents

The following include resources for community-based or government-funded programs to combat drug use across the country, in the state, and in the city of Columbus:

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Significant Drug Possession Cases

These drug crime cases demonstrate the recent case law related to drug possession convictions.

  • Terry v. United States: In June 2021, the Supreme Court decided a case regarding reduced sentencing for those charged with drug crimes before the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. Tarahrick Terry received a sentence for a low-level crack-cocaine offense in 2008—possession with intent to distribute. He later petitioned the court to seek a reduced sentence per the First Step Act of 2018. However, his petition was denied, as he was initially sentenced after the Fair Sentencing Act.  
  • State v. Foreman: Defendant Kelly Foreman gave birth to a baby who showed signs of drug withdrawal soon after delivery. She admitted to using cocaine during her pregnancy and was charged with felony possession of cocaine in 2019—without evidence of when, where, and how she had used cocaine. Upon appeal, the Ohio Supreme court unanimously ruled in Foreman’s favor and overturned the verdict of the lower court. The Supreme Court stated that there was not sufficient evidence to convict the defendant. 

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Columbus Drug Treatment Centers

You or your loved one could get help with treatment and recovery through one of the following drug treatment services:

  • The Recovery Village Columbus Drug and Alcohol Rehab: This program provides individualized programs and comprehensive treatment services in Columbus, including inpatient rehabilitation and detox.
  • CompDrug: CompDrug offers researched-based methods of treatment and recovery in Columbus, including intensive outpatient treatment and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). 
  • Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services: OhioMHAS provides drug addiction treatment and other mental health services. You can locate treatment providers and facilities near you.
  • Talbot Hall: Part of the Ohio State University healthcare system, Talbot Hall offers various mental health treatment services for drug and alcohol addiction.
  • City of Columbus Outpatient Treatment: The public health department offers outpatient programs, including group therapy for those 18 and up. This city program even offers support services for those seeking addiction treatment.
  • Freedom Recovery: Started by recovering addicts, Freedom Recovery uses the 12-step program to help patients treat addition. They accept Medicaid and other insurance plans.

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Ohio Drug Possession News and Articles

Read more about local drug crime news in Columbus:

The Columbus Police Department arrested three people during a targeted effort to curb criminal hotspots in Columbus. One of the men was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Those arrested face multiple charges of drug possession, including possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.  

At a traffic stop, the Major Crimes Task Force arrested and charged a 35-year-old Columbus resident with multiple felony drug possession charges. These included trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, and aggravated possession of drugs. 

The Columbus Police Department arrested a 36-year-old man at the 300 block of W. School Street. They arrested him for possession of a firearm (felony), possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, drug trafficking, and four counts of failing to show up for bail (felony).

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Felony Drug Possession FAQs

Q. Will I Go to Jail for Felony Drug Possession?

  1. You may go to jail if you’re convicted of felony drug possession. How long you go depends on the severity of your charges.
  • Felony of the first degree (F-1): 3 to 11 years
  • Felony of the second degree (F-2): 2 to 8 years
  • Felony of the third degree (F-3): 9 months to 36 months
  • Felony of the fourth degree (F-4): 6 to 18 months
  • Felony of the first degree (F-5): 6 to 12 months

Q. What Are Typical Defenses in Drug Possession Cases?

Your attorney will form a defense strategy to help you get your charges reduced or dropped and ultimately keep you out of jail.

Common defense strategies we use in felony drug possession cases include:

  • No Miranda Rights read
  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Chain of custody
  • The drugs were someone else’s
  • Entrapment
  • Lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause

Q. How Will a Conviction Affect My Life?

If you receive a felony drug possession conviction, you could face financial, personal, and professional hardships. You may have difficulty:

  • Getting a job
  • Getting admittance into a college or university
  • Securing a loan for a home or car
  • Renting property
  • Keeping custody of your children

The government will also restrict your driving and voting rights.

Q. How Can a Drug Possession Lawyer Help Me?

Your drug charges lawyer can assume various responsibilities when they take on your felony drug possession case:

  • Work to get your charges reduced or dismissed
  • Attempt to get your bail reduced
  • Negotiate a plea bargain
  • Create a defense strategy
  • Analyze evidence
  • Cross-examine witnesses
  • Determine which laws apply to your case

We encourage you to obey the law enforcement’s orders and not speak unless and until you have one of our attorneys present.

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Joslyn Law Firm | Franklin County Felony Drug Possession Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a felony drug possession charge in central Ohio, take the steps necessary to fight the charges and get your life back on track by calling Brian Joslyn to represent you. With years of experience defending those accused of felony drug crimes, Brian gives you the quality representation of a knowledgeable and resourceful criminal defense attorney.

Call (614) 444-1900 to schedule a free consultation if you have been charged with a felony drug possession offense in or around the cities of Delaware, Ashley, Columbus, Dublin, Westerville, Plain City, Newark, Buckeye Lake, Utica, Baltimore, Bremen, Ashville, Circleville, or Williamsport.

  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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