Federal Drug Crimes

Most people who are arrested for crimes relating to controlled substances in Ohio are taken into custody by local law enforcement and are tried in state courts, but it is important to remember that virtually any illegal drug charge is also a federal drug crime. Federal charges typically result from arrests made by federal agents or with the help of federal agencies.

Federal drug charges are much more serious than those on the state level because the possible penalties are typically far more severe. Depending on the specific amount and type of a controlled substance involved in an alleged offense, a person could possibly be subject to an incredibly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentence that judges and prosecutors may be powerless to reduce.

Lawyer for Federal Drug Crimes in Columbus, OH

Were you arrested or indicted, or do you think you might be under federal investigation for any kind of alleged drug crime in Central Ohio? You should not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible.

Columbus criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn represents clients all over Delaware County, Fairfield County, Franklin County, Licking County, Madison County, Pickaway County, and Union County. Call (614) 444-1900 today to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.


Overview of Federal Drug Crimes in Ohio


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Federal Drug Schedules in Franklin County

Federal drug policy is established under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA created five different classifications for illegal drugs called schedules, depending upon a controlled substance’s acceptable medical use and its abuse or dependency potential.

Drug schedules can have an enormous impact on sentencing in some cases, and the five drug schedules under the CSA are defined as follows:

  • Schedule I — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Examples include 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly), gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana, mescaline, methaqualone, and peyote.
  • Schedule II — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples include cocaine, Dexedrine, fentanyl, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), methamphetamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), morphine, opium, and oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet).
  • Schedule III — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Examples include anabolic steroids, ketamine, and products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine).
  • Schedule IV — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Examples include alprazolam (Xanax), carisoprodol (Soma), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Schedule V — Drugs, substances, or chemicals with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Examples include cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC), diphenoxylate (Lomotil), and pregabalin (Lyrica).

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Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties in Columbus

Alleged offenders may face federal charges for any one of a number of drug crimes, ranging from possession to distribution to manufacturing to cultivation. Certain cases may also involve charges of delivery, smuggling, or fraud, and conspiracy charges are especially common in federal courts.

In many federal drug cases, alleged offenders will be accused of drug trafficking because the violations typically involve alleged possession of more than a certain amount. Drug trafficking offenses carry steep penalties, including possibly mandatory minimum sentences for certain kinds of controlled substances.

The current penalties for federal drug trafficking convictions are as follows:

Controlled Substance

Amount

Fine

Prison Sentence

Cocaine

500-4,999 grams

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of five years up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

28-279 grams

Fentanyl

40-399 grams

Fentanyl analogue

10-99 grams

Heroin

100-999 grams

LSD

1-9 grams

Pure methamphetamine

5-49 grams

Methamphetamine mixture

50-499 grams

Pure PCP

10-99 grams

PCP mixture

100-999 grams

Cocaine

5 kilograms or more

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Life in prison.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

280 grams or more

Fentanyl

400 grams or more

Fentanyl analogue

100 grams or more

Heroin

1 kilogram or more

LSD

10 grams or more

Pure methamphetamine

50 grams or more

Methamphetamine mixture

500 grams or more

Pure PCP

100 grams or more

PCP mixture

1 kilogram or more

Other Schedule I and Schedule II Substances

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Any drug product containing gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

Any amount

Flunitrazepam

1 gram or more

Other Schedule III Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 10 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 15 years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 30 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2.5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

All other Schedule IV Drugs (other than one gram or more of Flunitrazepam)

Any amount

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

All Schedule V Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to one year in prison.

Second Offense: Up to four years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $100,000 for individuals, $250,000 for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $200,000 for individuals, $500,000 for non-individuals.

Marijuana

1,000 kilograms or more marijuana mixture, or 1,000 or more marijuana plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

100 to 999 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 100 to 999 marijuana  plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum of five years up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum of 20 years up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

50 to 99 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 50 to 99 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

More than 10 kilograms

Hashish Oil

More than 1 kilogram

Marijuana

Less than 50 kilograms marijuana (Not including 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of  weight), or 1 to 49 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

10 kilograms or less

Hashish Oil

1 kilogram or less


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Ohio Resources for Federal Drug Crime Charges

United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — The mission of the DEA is to “enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States.” On this website, you can learn more about drug scheduling, find drug fact sheets, and find a link to view the entire CSA. You can also find information about the DEA’s Community Outreach, Office of Diversion of Control, and other programs.

United States Drug Enforcement Administration
500 S Front St # 612
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 255-4200

State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy — The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy is charged under the Ohio Revised Code with investigating and presenting evidence of violations of any of the federal or state drug laws by any person to the appropriate court. On this website, you can learn more about the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS), Shared Prescription Investigation Deconfliction Resource (SPIDR), and National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS). You can also view board laws and rules as well as State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy documents such as meeting notes, notices, reports, guidance documents and news releases.

State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy
77 South High Street, 17th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-4143


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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer

If you believe that you could be under investigation or you have already been indicted or arrested for a federal drug offense in Central Ohio, it will be in your best interest to make sure that you have legal counsel capable of fighting to get the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients throughout Franklin County, including Bexley, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, Worthington, and several surrounding areas.

Brian Joslyn is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Columbus who is admitted to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. You can have him provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (614) 444-1900 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.


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