Drug Conspiracy    

Drug conspiracy charges carry substantial fines and lengthy prison sentences, not to mention the loss of other rights if you are convicted. Joslyn Law Firm fights drug charges to help our clients avoid imprisonment and other penalties in Cincinnati. We are an award-winning law firm that focuses entirely on criminal defense.

Our drug conspiracy attorneys understand how much you want to clear your name and avoid punishment, which is why we want to represent you. We have achieved excellent results in the more than 20,000 criminal cases we’ve handled to date. Our founder, attorney Brian Joslyn, is consistently ranked among the finest trial lawyers in Ohio.

Here are a few of the many accolades Attorney Joslyn has received: 

  • Top American Lawyers award
  • Top Ten Attorneys by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
  • Top 25 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Lead Counsel rating
  • Columbus CEO Magazine's Top Lawyer

Joslyn Law Firm has built a reputation for aggressive, effective criminal defense combined with personalized client service. Hear from some of our satisfied clients: 

  • "From the initial call to his firm until the eventual resolution of the case, Brian and his staff conducted themselves in a highly professional, responsive and caring manner." Chas R.
  • "(Everyone at) the law firm was polite and treated me with the utmost respect. I'm extremely happy with the outcome, and I'm more than happy that I chose this law firm." Nikki B.
  • "From start to finish, Brian and his staff took excellent care of me as a person and handled my case with an outcome that was more than I could have hoped for." B.

Our team at Joslyn Law Firm aims to defend you with non-judgmental and compassionate service. As a valued client, you can expect regular updates and close communication with your attorney. 

Drug Conspiracy Charges Demand Strong Legal Representation

Drug conspiracy charges jeopardize your job, family, and future. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer could mean the difference between doing time or getting back to your life. 

Joslyn Law Firm has helped many clients get their charges dismissed or reduced. We have also won acquittals in court. Past results are not a guarantee of future outcomes, but our criminal defense lawyers have experience handling all types of criminal defense cases, including drug charges.

Each case is different, and the court considers whether you have a prior record or might be a candidate for drug rehabilitation rather than incarceration. However, it can be beneficial to have a drug conspiracy lawyer who understands both negotiation and litigation with state prosecutors on your side.

If you or a loved one faces the threat of prison on drug conspiracy charges, contact Joslyn Law Firm right away to discuss your legal options. Your entire life is on the line, and you have only one chance to clear your name. Call (513) 399-6289 for a free case evaluation and learn how a lawyer can help.

Drug Conspiracy Information Center 


Back to top

Drug Conspiracy Overview 

There are two required elements for the state or federal government to charge someone with drug conspiracy:

      1. Two or more people agreed to violate state or federal drug laws.
      2. Each alleged conspirator knowingly participated.

Prosecutors must show proof beyond a reasonable doubt that both of these factors exist. Meanwhile, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may present contrary evidence, documentation, or witnesses to counter the opposing counsel's case. 


Back to top

Federal and State Drug Conspiracy Laws

Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2923.01, two or more people who agree to commit any unlawful act is a criminal conspiracy. Individuals are charged with drug conspiracy when that criminal act involves drugs.

Federal drug conspiracy charges apply when people violate either United States Code Section 21-841 or 21-952, or both. 

 Types of Drug Conspiracy Charges

      • Importing a Controlled Substance— This is the act of bringing controlled substances into the United States, either by land, sea, air, or mail delivery services.
      • Distributing a Controlled Substance— It is illegal to deliver drugs to someone else, either in person, by mail, or online, even if no money is exchanged. It is also unlawful to use a fraudulent prescription to obtain medication from an online or physical pharmacy.
      • Manufacturing a Controlled Substance— This involves any part of the production process of an illegal drug (e.g., growing, processing, or extracting).
      • Possessing a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute — Possessing an illegal drug is a separate (and lesser) crime from manufacturing or distributing controlled substances. However, the prosecution only needs to show that you intended to distribute, not whether or not you did.

When State Charges Become Federal

Here are several examples of how a drug conspiracy charge elevates to the federal level: 

      • You violated federal drug laws.
      • You transported drugs across state lines.
      • You imported drugs into the United States from another country.
      • You used the United States Post Office to mail drugs.
      • Your actions took place on federal property, such as a national park.
      • You were investigated or arrested by a federal agency, such as the United States Coast Guard (USCG) or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
      • An informant assisted in your arrest.
      • Your actions or involvement are part of a criminal organization.
      • Your arrest was part of a joint law enforcement procedure with state and federal agencies.

Back to top

Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Conspiracy Crimes in Ohio

Ohio charges any conspiracy as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the intent or object of the conspirators. From least to most severe, the felony sentencing guidelines in Ohio are as follows:

      • Fifth-degree felony: Six to 12 months in prison, up to $2,500 fine, and up to five years’ probation (community control)
      • Fourth-degree felony: Six months to 18 months in prison, up to $5,000 fine, and up to five years’ probation
      • Third-degree felony: Nine months to three years in prison, up to $10,000 fine, up to three years parole
      • Second-degree felony: Two to eight years in prison, up to $15,000 fine, up to five years parole
      • First-degree felony: Three to eleven years in prison, up to $20,000 fine, up to five years parole

Some felony offenders face additional time in prison, depending on the nature, extent, and severity of their crimes.

Federal Drug Sentencing Guidelines

Federal drug offenses have mandatory minimum sentences based on certain factors in the case. These factors include:

      • Amount of the controlled substance
      • Type of controlled substance
      • Use of a weapon, violence, threats of violence, bodily injuries, or deaths resulting from the drug offense 

Federal prosecutors may stack charges against you that enhance the minimum sentencing guidelines for drug conspiracy crimes. 

Enhanced Sentencing for Drug Crimes

The following are two reasons that prosecutors might enhance drug conspiracy charges against you:

      • Your actions led to someone's death or caused severe injury due to using the controlled substance involved in the drug conspiracy.
      • You have one or more prior felony drug convictions. 

Minimum and Maximum Sentencing for Federal Drug Charges 

Trafficking 100 grams or more of heroin or a similar controlled substance

Five years minimum

40 years maximum

Trafficking one kilo or more of heroin or a similar controlled substance

10 years minimum

Life maximum

If serious injury or death occurs OR there are prior felony drug convictions

20 years minimum

Life maximum


Back to top

Collateral Penalties for Drug Conviction in Hamilton County

Going to prison and being separated from your loved ones is devastating. In addition, there are often collateral penalties if you are convicted on drug conspiracy charges.

These penalties might include:

      • Steep fines that affect your family's financial security
      • Inability to own a firearm
      • Loss of some state or federal benefits or assistance
      • Loss of your driver's license
      • Loss of your professional license if you are a doctor, nurse, lawyer, or teacher
      • Difficulty finding and keeping employment
      • Problems related to renting or buying a home
      • Loss or reduction of child custody or visitation
      • Potential immigration issues such as ineligibility for citizenship or deportation

It is also challenging to maintain relationships when an individual is in prison for a long time. For example, spouses often divorce, and children might develop a strained relationship with an imprisoned parent.


Back to top

Evidence Prosecutors Commonly Use in Cincinnati Drug Cases

Some of the most common types of evidence in drug conspiracy cases include:

      • Physical evidence, such as drugs, scales, and cash
      • Witness statements
      • Testimony by law enforcement
      • Emails, texts, videos, photos, or wiretapped conversations

During the discovery phase, the prosecution and the defense must share what kinds of evidence they uncover. It is unfair for one side to surprise the opposing counsel with new evidence, documentation, or testimony.


Back to top

Defense Strategies to Avoid Conviction in Cincinnati

It is possible to have drug conspiracy charges dismissed due to lack of evidence. A criminal defense attorney from our firm can also challenge evidence if police may have obtained it illegally. 

Other potential defenses for drug crimes include: 

      • No existence of a conspiracy
      • Insufficient proof of acknowledgment
      • Police entrapment
      • Illegal interrogation
      • Illegal search

It is also possible to defend yourself if there is evidence that you proactively attempted to withdraw from the conspiracy. For example, an individual may try to implicate a spouse or partner who legitimately is unaware of any criminal activity.


Back to top

Resources for Drug Conspiracy Crimes in Ohio

Wake Up, Central Ohio: This website from the Department of Drug Enforcement (DEA) has links to local, state, and federal agencies for treatment centers, community engagement, and education programs. Since 2018, there have been over 11,000 suspected drug overdoses treated in Central Ohio's emergency departments. The DEA hopes to "wake up" residents with fact-based programs on reducing drug crimes and addiction. 

Safe Pharmacy: The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) provides this website to help consumers understand the risk and signs of prescription drug misuse or addiction. It also contains information for safe drug disposal when your prescriptions expire, or you no longer need them. Properly disposing of drugs helps reduce "pharming," a dangerous practice in which people share medication not prescribed for them.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) is a free, confidential service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year for individuals and family members facing substance use or mental health disorders. In 2020, SAMHSA counselors received more than 833,000 calls. Trained specialists connect callers with state services, intake centers, and support agencies.

Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board: This free community resource links substance abusers and their family members to a wide array of services, from assessment to detox centers and counseling. The Board evaluates clients for treatment, prevention, or risk avoidance and provides connections to medical, social, educational, and other essential services.


Back to top

Ohio Drug Conspiracy News 

May 17, 2021

Six in Youngstown-Warren Charged with Methamphetamine Drug Trafficking Conspiracy 

A federal grand jury indicted six Youngstown-Warren residents on 16 counts of drug trafficking conspiracy from a December 2020 arrest. Three women and three men ranging in ages from 29 to 39 are accused of distributing at least 500 grams of methamphetamine. One of the defendants is also charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. If convicted, each defendant faces a minimum of 10 years in prison. 

June 9, 2021

Fairborn, Xenia and Springfield Men among Eight Indicted in Drug Conspiracy

A federal grand jury charged eight people with 13 drug conspiracy counts for a narcotics ring stretching from Ohio to Mexico. Each defendant faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted for distributing over 400 grams of fentanyl.

Prosecutors allege that the network used multiple properties throughout Ohio to process, store, and distribute the illegal drugs. One defendant, a professional truck driver, supposedly used her job to transport thousands of dollars in cash to western states and Mexico. 

June 18, 2021

Four Accused of Federal Drug Conspiracy

A federal grand jury charged four Warrant County residents with drug conspiracy and intent to distribute. The indictment states that the four defendants conspired to distribute 50 grams of methamphetamine over 11 months from 2019 to 2020. One of the defendants also faces a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

April 14, 2021

Twelve Suspects Face Federal Charges of Conspiracy to Possess or Distribute Drugs

A dozen Ohio residents face charges for conspiracy to possess or distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. The defendants are from Franklin and Athens counties. Each could spend at least five years in prison with a maximum sentence of 40 years. The Fairfield-Athens Major Crimes Unit, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration spent 17 months planning the arrest.


Back to top

FAQs Regarding Drug Conspiracy Crimes in Cincinnati 

      1. Can you be charged with state and federal drug conspiracy?
      2. Yes, you could face state and federal drug conspiracy charges that carry separate penalties. It may be in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney familiar with all relevant drug conspiracy laws. 
      1. What is the difference between drug trafficking and drug conspiracy?
      2. Drug trafficking is the act of an individual knowingly selling, purchasing, or delivering illegal drugs. Drug conspiracy involves two or more individuals who conspire or agree to commit drug trafficking.
      1. Is it possible to avoid prison if convicted on drug conspiracy charges?
      2. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid prison by having the charges reduced or dismissed—or by winning an acquittal at trial. Sometimes prosecutors offer plea deals in exchange for information about drug trafficking rings and other criminal enterprises. 
      1. Is drug addiction a legal defense to drug conspiracy charges?
      2. Drug addiction is not a legal defense. Still, the court might be lenient for a defendant who shows a genuine desire to kick the habit through treatment and rehabilitation.
      1. Could I get bail for a drug conspiracy charge?
      2. Bail is a determination by the court that depends on several factors, including whether you are a flight risk (the chance that you will not return for court). Suppose you have a previously clean record, strong ties to the community, and possess sufficient collateral. In that case, you could potentially receive bail. 
      1. Would a jury be more likely to convict if I do not testify?
      2. When we represent you, one of our attorneys will discuss the pros and cons of testifying in your defense. Each case is unique, and your best defensive strategy might or might not include your taking the stand. It is not a sign of guilt if you choose not to testify.

Back to top

Cincinnati Drug Conspiracy Lawyer

Everything you cherish is on the line when you face drug conspiracy charges. You deserve a vigorous defense to help you avoid imprisonment, fines, and loss of civil rights. Joslyn Law Firm has successfully defended many clients on drug conspiracy and related drug charges. Our attorneys want to help you by seeking a dismissal, reduced charges, or an acquittal.

If you were arrested on a drug conspiracy charge, let us advocate for the best possible outcome on your behalf. Call Joslyn Law Firm today at (513) 399-6289 for a free case evaluation.


Back to top