Drug Crime Defenses in Cincinnati
Joslyn Law Firm has successfully handled over 15,000 defense cases, and with the July 2020 signing of Senate Bill 3, Ohio has opened up to a more civil process to help lower-level drug offenders get the help they need. If you are facing drug charges, our team can work to defend your future.
We are nationally and locally recognized by multiple legal organizations in our field. We are ranked as the Client Champion and as the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Columbus for 2020 among a lineage of other awards and recognitions by our peers. We have earned these awards because we are compassionate about our clients’ needs. When you choose Joslyn Law Firm to represent you for a drug crime in Cincinnati, you will see that our advisors’ unbiased advice feels familial.
Cincinnati Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
Drug charges have the possibility of following you through life, preventing you from obtaining certain job and taking away your right to vote or own a firearm. We understand the seriousness of these charges and are ready to help you build the strongest defense possible. We are aware of the dedication it takes to maintain our clients’ best interest while making sure we are protecting their rights.
If you have been accused of a drug crime in Cincinnati, contact Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 and let our team review your case. It takes a team of knowledgeable professionals to maneuver through the layers of the law. Taking on the criminal justice system alone is not in your best interest, so contact us for your free consultation today.
Drug Crime Defenses Information Center
- Substance Was Not a Controlled Substance
- Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights
- Drugs Are Not Yours
- Medical Marijuana Exemption
- Drugs Were Planted
- Drugs Were Missing
- Drug Crime Defenses Questions & Answers
- Cincinnati, OH Drug Crime Defense Attorney
Drug-related charges have the potential of destroying your record. With the right defense team, some of the charges may be reduced or even dismissed. It helps to understand these drug crime defenses and how they are used to bring a positive outcome for your case. Unfortunately, police officers are known to make mistakes and sometimes feel as if they are above the law, even though it is their duty to serve and protect. This makes it even more important to get legal support.
Entrapment is an affirmative defense, as outlined in Ohio Revised Code § 2901.05(C)(2). It is also a valid defense in Ohio, as long as the defendant can prove that the criminal action was designed by law enforcement, and the defendant was not previously inclined to commit the drug crime prior to the official’s influence.
However, when pursuing an entrapment defense, you will have the burden of proof that you did not have the prior inclination to commit the crime. This means that the defendant committed the crime because there was coercion, and the defendant had no intent to commit the crime.
The prosecution also has a burden of proof to bear. They must prove that the defendant committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, in an entrapment defense, reasonable doubt may be disreputable if a juror has even the slightest doubt that the defendant did not act with intent.
Ohio’s Predisposition Test
Ohio follows the subjective test standard when testing an entrapment defense, making it a bit harder to withstand the burden of proof from a defense in these situations. This means that if an opportunity is created and the defendant was predisposed to follow through with the crime on their own free will, more so than the law enforcement’s persuasion, it is not entrapment.
Furthermore, according to the Department of Justice, predisposition can damage an entrapment defense. This is also known as an opportunity—not to be confused with intent. This means an entrapment defense is not upheld when an officer solely presents the opportunity for the drug crime to take place. However, it can still stand using “Mens Rea” or “guilty mind.” For example, suppose the defendant is a recovering heroin addict, and the officer offers them drugs as a way to coerce them into buying for the sole purpose of a conviction, even though the defendant did not have any intent to do so. In that case, this may not be upheld as the defendant’s intent.
The complexity of this defense is best left to an entrapment defense attorney. Joslyn Law Firm is here to make sure that you are following the best defenses for the drug crime and that you are not going into your defense blind to the law. If entrapment is able to be proved, there is a high probability of acquittal.
Substance Was Not a Controlled Substance
A controlled substance is defined by Ohio Revised Code § 3719.01 as a “drug, compound, mixture, preparation, or substance” that is defined in the 21 U.S. Code § 812 as such. To prove a drug is not a controlled substance, it must be sent in for lab testing. Certain types of lab reports can be challenged by the defense, requiring the prosecutor to provide that the substance was controlled without reasonable doubt.
There is only a case at this point if the lab results show the drug was a controlled substance and that it is backed by the professional’s testimony that tested the substance. The process of obtaining these specific lab results can be time consuming and expensive. At times, these chemical lab results can be used as testimonial evidence, which demands the lab technician to testify. This also requires the court dates to be rescheduled depending on the availability of the lab technician.
The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy offers an in-detail and updated table of controlled drugs and their schedules.
The drugs must be in the same exact state they were in when they were taken into evidence. It is not uncommon for a defense to request the evidence be reexamined based on this fact. Some drugs are perishable, and if the evidence is not stored properly, the substances will no longer be in the state they were in when they were first discovered. Therefore, lab results may be different than when they were initially documented.
Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights
The Fourth Amendment of The U.S. Constitution was written to protect the people from unlawful search and seizure by government officials. When this defense is presented to the court, they must provide, without a reasonable doubt, that the officers gathered the given evidence legally using probable cause. Otherwise, the court may not be able to uphold the evidence.
The defense in your case can ask the court to uphold the Fourth Amendment if:
- The drugs were not in plain view, and there was no probable cause for a search.
- The police may not trespass or infringe on your rights in any way to try and establish if you are in possession of a drug if it is not in “plain view.”
- There was no probable cause to search without a warrant
- Using a canine to search without a warrant
- Illegal surveillance without a warrant
- Illegal stop and searches (without probable cause)
For law enforcement to have the right to legal search and seizure, they must have probable cause, but a warrant will not be issued without probable cause. However, there are scenarios where drugs are found, which cannot be used even with probable cause. An example of this is if an officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, and they pull you over and search the car for alcohol but end up finding cocaine in a visor. There is a possibility the drug charge will be dismissed.
Reasons a Fourth Amendment defense would not work:
- The substances were in plain view.
- Officers were invited onto the premises legally, by a family member, for example.
- The arrest was because of a legal search.
- There is an identifiable probable cause to search.
Nonetheless, when the Fourth Amendment defense is presented and upheld, it can significantly lower charges or even have them dismissed.
Joslyn Law Firm defends drug charges. Whether your constitutional rights are being upheld or your innocence is proven, we know what to do to protect our clients against possible simulated prosecution. Contact us at (614) 444-1900 for a free consultation.
Drugs Are Not Yours
Getting a strong defense attorney to handle this claim is highly advisable. One of the most common statements that the police hear is, “That isn’t mine.” However, it does not always mean the defendant is lying. It may mean they will need to be able to prove that they are not. Building a strong defense against this claim, with proof, is extremely important.
One way to prove your case is by showing that there were other people involved, and the drugs belonged to them. For instance, if the officer found illegal substances in your car after a legal search, but your cousin had your car the day before, the drugs found could very well be those of your cousin. While proving this may seem complicated, it creates a reasonable doubt that the drugs were yours.
There are many ways that a strong defense team can uphold this in a court of law. Usually, the key to success in these matters is to have a strong criminal defense lawyer on your side. Joslyn Law Firm will work with you to ensure that the evidence to prove the drugs were not yours is available to support your defense.
Constructive possession reinforces that you must be completely unaware that the drugs were where you were at the time they were found. Constructive possession charges mean that although the drugs may not be yours, you were still aware of them.
Medical Marijuana Exemption
Medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio in June of 2016 when Governor John Kasich signed HB 523 into law. These laws partially decriminalized marijuana possession and legalized the use of medical marijuana.
Per the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), partial decriminalization means that “Although the law still classifies marijuana possession offenses as criminal, the offenses do not carry any threat of jail time.” This depends on the circumstances of your case as not all marijuana drug charges are exempt by the new legislation. Qualifying for medical marijuana use is a process, and there are qualifying standards outlined in Ohio Revised Code Title 37 § 3796.
Joslyn Law Firm is a proud member of the NORML Legal Committee. Our team of lawyers and paralegals understand marijuana exemption laws and the ever-complex legislation surrounding marijuana convictions. We are dedicated to making sure that charges for marijuana possessions are handled correctly and that our clients are being treated fairly when facing prosecution for the cultivation, sale, use, and possession of marijuana.
Drugs Were Planted
Although the planting of drugs is not common, it does happen. The defense in the case will need to be strong, and your defense attorney will have to file a motion to have the complaint file of the suspected officer that planted the drugs released. This process will need to be approved by a judge prior to the release of the file.
When a complaint file is approved, it will give access to those who have filed complaints on the officer, and they may be interviewed to help establish the integrity, or lack of, of the officer in question.
While some officers’ actions fall under immunity, the defense can file for civil rights violations per Ohio Revised Code § 2921.45 or under sham legal processes per Ohio Revised Code § 2921.52. The facts of the case will determine the type of defense that is used in proving the defendant’s innocence.
Drugs Were Missing
Ohio establishes its chain of custody for evidence principles as, “Every law enforcement agency is responsible for the proper handling and disposition of property and evidence within its custody.... mismanagement of a property and evidence room, and a lack of proper security and controls, are serious liabilities for any law enforcement agency.”
A chain of custody is the paper trail documentation of where the evidence has been, who had it, and why. If a proper chain of custody is not maintained, there is a greater chance of the evidence being misplaced and even lost.
Joslyn Law Firm has a defense team ready to inspect for lack of evidence to help fight your case. If the drugs in question did not make it to the evidence locker, and no evidence represents the prosecution’s accusations that there were drugs, they cannot charge you with drug-related charges. This means that your charges could be lowered or dismissed.
Drug Crime Defenses Questions & Answers
Q: Is constructive possession a defense against drug possession charges?
A: Constructive possession means you did not physically possess the drugs, but you were aware of their presence. If you can argue that you were unaware of the drugs, then you may use that as a defense against drug possession charges.
Q: Did Ohio decriminalize marijuana possession?
A: HB 523, signed into law in June 2016, partially decriminalized marijuana possession. While marijuana possession is still a criminal offense, the offense does not carry the penalty of jail time. However, penalties depend on the specifics of your case, as not all marijuana-related charges are covered under the new law. Work with a criminal defense lawyer who will review your case and build your defense.
Can I be convicted of a drug crime without evidence?
No. If there is no evidence that a crime took place, then it will be difficult for the prosecution to secure a conviction. To convict you of a crime, the prosecution will need to establish that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is no evidence to support these allegations, your lawyer can move to have the charges against you dropped or dismissed.
Can I be convicted of a drug crime for a prescription medication?
It depends. If you were in lawful possession of a drug that was prescribed to you, then you will likely not be convicted of a drug crime. However, if you were in possession of a prescription medication that did not belong to you, you could face serious penalties.
If the charges against me are dropped or dismissed, will the arrest still show up on my record?
Yes. Even if the charges against you were dropped or dismissed, inquiring parties who run a background check will be able to see that you were arrested and charged with a crime. However, your record may also reflect that the charges against you were dropped or dismissed.
Can I be convicted of a drug crime if I am in rehab?
Yes. However, this information may be used to reduce the charges against you. For instance, suppose you were arrested for being in possession of prescription medications but afterward went to rehab for substance abuse. Your lawyer may be able to argue that because you are struggling with substance abuse, you should be given the opportunity to get your life back on track––not go to jail. The effectiveness of this legal strategy works on a case-by-case basis.
Can a drug conviction stop me from getting certain jobs?
Yes. Many employers frown on drug convictions, meaning that you may be unable to hold certain jobs. This makes it all the more important to work with a drug crime lawyer on your case.
Cincinnati, OH Drug Crimes Attorneys
Joslyn Law Firm has a firm track record of establishing strong criminal defenses. We spare no effort at making sure that our client’s rights are being upheld. If you have been charged with criminal drug charges or are currently under investigation for drug crimes in Cincinnati, contact us today at (614) 444-1900. Our law firm offers free consultations, and we work hard to prevent the most severe consequences from significantly impacting your criminal record.