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Cleveland Drug Crime Attorneys

Top-Notch Criminal Defense After a Drug Arrest in Cuyahoga County

If you have been charged with a drug offense in Ohio, you need to hire a Cleveland drug crime lawyer. In many of these cases, there is mandatory prison time and the potential to be forced to forfeit valuable property. The prison time in these cases can reach decades depending on the type, quantity, and weight of the drug involved.

The government aggressively pursues these cases with an almost unlimited supply of officers, investigators, detectives, and prosecutors. It is therefore in your best interests to hire the most experienced criminal lawyer that you can afford. Often, the right Cleveland drug crime attorney can be the only difference between freedom and prison.

I cannot say enough how grateful we are. “I realize that you are doing your job. But, I cannot say enough how grateful we are to you for your understanding, your on-the-ball-ness, your knowledge, and your support. This is an extremely tough time for us, and being able to depend on your excellence is invaluable. Thank you!”- Donna S.

Our Cleveland Drug Crime Attorneys Will Challenge the Police & Prosecutors

In our experience, our Cleveland drug crime lawyers find drug charges present the most difficulty. Often, our clients are young adults who got caught by the police with a small amount of drugs; other times, our clients are far more sophisticated individuals involved in the drug trade. Regardless, there are many different ways to handle a drug case. For some people, a treatment program is the best fit. For others, taking the case all the way through trial is the best fit.

In either case, we always do at least the following:

  • Obtain the search warrant used against you;
  • Obtain any video and audio involving you;
  • Obtain the name, identity, and record of any witness against you;
  • Prepare to have evidence thrown out through a suppression hearing;
  • Prepare and try the case if necessary.

These cases can be far more complicated than simply filing the above motions and making preparations for trial. Each case is different and we base our strategy and representation on what your case requires. Our Cleveland drug crime lawyers will challenge the evidence and make sure you are properly defended. We are not the type of attorneys who take the police, or prosecutor, at their word. We make them prove their case. We will fight for you by filing motions to dismiss and motions to suppress after a misdemeanor or felony drug charge. Sometimes, our Cleveland drug crime attorneys have to use creative drug possession defenses and, if necessary, we will utilize possession and trafficking expert witnesses to testify to the examination performed on the drugs you allegedly possessed or trafficked in.

Drug-Related Cases That We Can Handle

Our Cleveland drug crime lawyers can assist on all drug-related cases of all kinds:

  • Possession of controlled substances (2925.11)
    For example, possession of; marijuana, cocaine, prescription pills, etc.
  • Trafficking or aggravated trafficking in drugs (2925.03)
    The sale, or offer to sell, controlled substances.
  • Corrupting another with drugs (2925.02)
    Sharing or coercing another to use a controlled substance.
  • Illegal manufacture of drugs, illegal cultivation of marihuana or methamphetamine (2925.04)
    Growing marijuana or the making of meth.
  • Illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of drugs (2925.041)
    Making schedule I or II controlled substances or possessing at least one chemical to make illegal drugs.
  • Funding, aggravated funding of drug or marijuana trafficking (2925.05)
    Bankrolling or otherwise helping to finance the movement or trafficking of drugs.
  • Illegal administration or distribution of anabolic steroids (2925.06)
    Injecting or providing steroids to anyone or selling steroids to end-users.
  • Possession of controlled substances (2925.11)
    Purchasing or possessing a controlled substance. We consider this a "catch-all" offense.
  • Possessing drug abuse instruments (2925.12)
    Possessing any item or tool whose primary purpose is to inhale, inject, or ingest illegal drugs.
  • Permitting drug abuse (2925.13)
    Allowing someone to commit felony drug abuse on any property that you own, rent, or occupy.
  • Illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia (2925.14)
    Possessing an item or tool that can be tied to anything related to a controlled substance.
  • Illegal use or possession of marihuana (marijuana) drug paraphernalia (2925.141)
    Possessing any item or tool that can be used to store, hold, conceal, ingest, or inhale marijuana.
  • Deception to obtain a dangerous drug (2925.22)
  • Illegal processing of drug documents (2925.23)
  • Illegal dispensing of drug samples (2925.36)
  • Counterfeit controlled substance offenses (2925.37)
  • Criminal forfeiture of property relating to felony drug abuse offense (2925.42)

Heroin Possession & Trafficking Charges in Ohio

In Ohio, heroin possession or trafficking may result in fines of thousands of dollars and even up to 10+ years in prison. Heroin is considered a Schedule I drug and charges are based on the amount in possession. These charges include:

  • < 1 gram: 5th degree felony with 6-12 month prison sentence.
  • 1 - 4 grams: 4th degree felony and 6-18 month prison sentence.
  • 5 - 9 grams: 3rd degree felony and 9 month - 3 year prison sentence.
  • 10 - 49 grams: 2nd degree felony and 2-8 year prison sentence.
  • 50 - 249 grams: 1st degree felony and 3-10 year prison sentence.
  • > 250 grams: major drug offense (MDO) and 11 year mandatory prison sentence.

Ohio Cocaine Possession Charges

In Ohio, cocaine charges and penalties are based on the amount in possession or sold. Cocaine is a Schedule II drug. The charges for cocaine possession range from a 1st degree to 5th degree felony.

The amounts and penalties for cocaine possession include:

  • < 5 grams: 5th degree felony; fines up to $2,500 and 6-12 months in jail.
  • 5 - 9 grams: 4th degree felony; fines up to $5,000 and 6 months in jail to 18 months in prison.
  • 10 - 19 grams: 3rd degree felony; fines up to $10,000 and 9 months in jail to 36 months in prison.
  • 20 - 27 grams: 2nd degree felony; fines up to $15,000 and 2-8 years in prison.
  • 27 - 99 grams: 1st degree felony; fines up to $20,000 and 3-11 years in prison.
  • > 100 grams: 1st degree felony; fines up to $20,000 and 11 years in prison.

Ohio Fentanyl Penalties

In Ohio, fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance and is charged by "bulk amount" found in possession. The "bulk amount" refers to either (1) > 10 grams or (2) > 25 doses of the controlled substance. Possession of fentanyl in Ohio may result in the following penalties:

  • < a bulk amount: 5th degree felony; 6-12 months in prison and a fine of $2,5000.
  • > than a bulk amount & < than 5x bulk amount: 3rd degree felony; 9 months - 5 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • 5x - 50x bulk amount: 2nd degree felony; mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
  • 50x - 100x bulk amount: 1st degree felony; mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and fines up to $20,000.
  • > 100x bulk amount: 1st degree felony; mandatory minimum sentence of 11 years in prison; major drug offender (MDO).

Penalties for Methamphetamine Possession in Ohio

In Ohio, meth possession is a felony drug crime and will result in fines and jail time. The penalties for these crimes are based on the amount in possession.

  • < 3 grams: 5th degree felony; 6-12 months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
  • 3 - 15 grams: 3rd degree felony; possible 9-36 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • 15 - 150 grams: 2nd degree felony; 2-8 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
  • 150 - 300 grams: 1st degree felony; 3-11 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
  • > 300 grams: 1st degree felony; 11-year prison sentence, up to $20,000 in fines, considered a major drug offender (MDO).

Arrested for Drug Possession & Trafficking at the Same Time?

It's quite common to find that our clients are charged with possession and trafficking at the same time. As former prosecutors, and current defense attorneys, our Cleveland drug crime lawyers are experienced in defending clients charged with:

  • Possession & Trafficking of Cocaine
  • Possession & Trafficking of Crack Cocaine
  • Possession & Trafficking of Marijuana
  • Possession & Trafficking of LSD
  • Possession & Trafficking of Heroin
  • Possession & Trafficking of Prescription Pills

Whether it's a state or federal drug charge, we can defend you from the serious penalties associated with convictions. All drug crimes in Ohio have a mandatory driver's license suspension of at least six months, but more importantly certain drugs carry mandatory prison time if you have above a specified amount of drugs.

As Cleveland drug crime defense attorneys, we understand that these are serious charges and the punishments for drug possession and trafficking are extreme. We approach each case with the utmost seriousness and are available 24/7. In an emergency, we will make ourselves available at all hours in order to protect you from the allegations the police are making. We handle the most serious of cases, and our clients trust us when their lives are on the line.

Penalties for Drug Manufacturing in Ohio (ORC 2925.04)

Drug manufacturing has a number of different penalties depending on the type of drug involved-from ecstasy to methamphetamines to marijuana. It is important to retain the services of an experienced Cleveland drug crime defense attorney if you have been charged with the manufacturing or assembly of an illegal drug (ORC 2925.04).

Generally speaking, the manufacturing of a schedule I or II drug is a felony of the second degree which carries a mandatory prison sentence of two to eight years in prison per count. There are felonies of the second degree that carry a different penalty. If you have been charged with this offense, you need immediate representation.

Ohio Drug Trafficking or Aggravated Trafficking (O.R.C. 2925.03)

When prosecutors believe they can prove you sold, shipped, transported, or delivered controlled substances that were intended to then be sold to others, you will be charged with trafficking or aggravated trafficking in drugs (ORC 2925.03) in Cleveland. The state of Ohio, like the federal government, defines drugs according to a "schedule," where Schedule I and II drugs have a high probability of abuse and little or no medical use.

Schedule I and II drugs include:

  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Opium
  • Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)
  • Some Painkillers

If you are charged with trafficking Schedule I or II drugs, you will be charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs (ORC 2925.03). Penalties vary based on drug type and amount, but you are facing a felony charge. This is true of simple trafficking in drugs, as well. Penalties vary, but you're facing a felony charge and all the problems that go with it, including jail time and a felony record. Our attorneys are former prosecutors, so we know how drug trafficking cases are built and prosecuted-and we know how to push back and protect our clients.

Funding of Drug or Marijuana Trafficking (O.R.C. 2925.05)

Under ORC 2925.05, it is a crime in Cleveland to provide money or other items of value to a person with the purpose that the recipient will use the money or items of value to obtain any controlled substance for the purposes of drug manufacture, cultivation, or sale. The aggravated drug funding charge is applied when the substance in question is a Schedule I or II drug, and is first degree felony. Drug funding for schedule III, IV, or V drugs is a second degree felony. When the drug in question is marijuana, the charge is funding of marihuana trafficking, a third degree felony. Aside from often lengthy prison sentences, conviction results in significant fines, a suspended driver's license, and for licensed professionals in the state, mandatory notification of the licensing board or agency. These are charges that can destroy your career and steal your freedom.

Penalties & Jail Time for Drug Crime Convictions in OH

One thing that almost always concerns our clients about their drug charges is how much time they can get. As former prosecutors and attorneys who used to handle drug cases for the government, we can tell you that the amount of time in prison can be extensive. Some drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and meth have mandatory prison sentences at very low quantities (weight). This means that even if you have a relatively low level felony and it is your first offense, you might have to go to prison if convicted-even if this is the first time you have been in trouble. This is why it is important to hire an attorney. When dealing with larger quantities, and when firearms get involved, the amount of time can become quite significant. You could be looking at 11 years per charge on certain quantities and weights. All of my partners are former prosecutors, we can help you.

Call (440) 709-8088 to set up a free consultation with our Cleveland drug crime lawyers today concerning your drug crime charges!

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Recent Victories
  • Charges Avoided Federal Analogue Drug Charges: Unindicted
  • Not Guilty at Trial Attempted Murder/Felonious Assault: State v. Brandon Betliskey
  • Felonies Reduced to a Misdemeanor Mortage Fraud: State v. Bankston (Case 554763)
  • Felonies Reduced to a Misdemeanor Fraud: State v. Bailey
  • Sentence Reduced to 55 Months United States v. Pugh, 1:16-cr-00291-BYP.
  • Dismissed State v. Levanduski
  • Evidence Suppressed, State Lost the Appeal DUI / OVI: City of Cleveland v. Oles
  • Prosecutor Dismissed the OVI Charges OVI: Bay Village v. Keller
  • Reduction in Charges and Client Avoided Mandator OVI: State v. Shaver, Elyria
  • Not Guilty at Trial Felonious Assault / Attempted Murder: State v. Brandon Betliskey

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