Felony Drug Possession

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 20,000 criminal cases and consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s Best Criminal Defense Firms. We treat our clients like family with a non-judgmental approach. Knowledge is power in any situation. We are here to help educate you about your circumstances. Use our resources below to contact us and learn how we can help you.

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Felony Drug Possession Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH

Ohio is very stringent when it comes to drug crimes, but a felony drug possession lawyer can help. Many controlled substance offenses can result in felony charges. A felony is a high-level offense with potential prison sentences and huge fines. Alongside this, in Ohio, the alleged offender may have his or her driver’s license suspended.

Joslyn Law Firm is knowledgeable about all types of felony drug crimes under Ohio law. Our attorneys have over 20 years of combined experience defending clients in Ohio’s justice system. We are honest and open with all of our clients. The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm will do everything in our power to obtain favorable results for your case.

Our firm’s team members have a reputation for compassion, hard work, and meticulous preparation for all kinds of criminal cases. No case is too tough, and we are prepared to take on your felony drug possession charges to protect your freedom and your rights.

We take pride in the experience and dedication of our legal team, and we have the awards to prove it. Brian Joslyn is our head attorney and founded our firm, and he has won awards for his commitment to defending Ohioans accused of crimes.

Brian’s years practicing criminal defense law have not gone unnoticed, and he has received awards and memberships from many local and national organizations. Some examples include:

  • Membership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Rising Star Selectee from Super Lawyers
  • The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Top 10 Under 40 Attorney award

If you have been charged with felony drug possession, you have the right to seek legal representation from a Cincinnati drug crimes lawyer.

Cincinnati Attorneys for Felony Drug Possession Charges in Ohio

Felony charges can completely alter a person’s life. The legal repercussions are not the only consequences of a felony offense. A felon may have issues getting professional licensing, obtaining loans from the federal government, buying firearms, applying for housing, and missed job opportunities.

The lawyers with our firm know that the risks you face when you are charged with felony drug possession. Everyone has the right to legal counsel, and you should not have to face these charges alone. Our lawyers can help prepare you for trial, investigate your case, and help you cut a deal.

Our lawyers are responsible for coming up with a defense to create a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime. For example, we may find that someone did not obtain evidence legally, and this lack of admissible evidence can weaken the prosecutor’s case. Violations of rights or legal procedures can help us build a strong defense on your behalf, and our team with examine these instances and gather any other proof that supports your case.

Get your plan started today. Joslyn Law Firm practices law throughout the greater Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington metropolitan area and surrounding cities, including Blue Ash, Cheviot, Batavia, Wilmington, Montgomery, Springdale, and Harrison.

Your defense is in the making. Call us today at (513) 399-6289, or submit an online contact form for a free consultation.

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Felony Drug Possession Information Center

Felony Drug Possession in Cincinnati Overview

Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11 states that a person who knowingly obtains or uses a controlled substance is committing an illegal offense. Depending on the quantity, the penalties for possession can result in a felony. Anyone accused of a felony-level drug possession crime can seek a criminal defense attorney.

If you are found in possession or caught attempting to obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance in Ohio, you can be charged with the crime of possession of a controlled substance. The level of the offense with which you are charged depends on the type and quantity of drug involved.

Ohio’s drug laws classify controlled substances according to five categories, called schedules. The schedules go from I to V, with I representing the most dangerous and addictive drugs and V representing the least dangerous and addictive. The schedules also acknowledge whether the drugs in that level carry any valid medical purpose outside of recreational use.

If your possession offense involves Schedule I or II substances, you could face felony drug possession charges.

Types of Felony Drug Possession Charges in Cincinnati

Ohio laws outline elements necessary to charge for possession of a controlled substance. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offender had control over the controlled substance. In addition to this, the state must prove that the alleged offender has a reasonable belief that the substance was illegal.

Possessing some controlled substances automatically grants a felony. However, in some cases, the quantity of the drug is what classifies the crime as a felony. For instance, a person must possess 200 grams of marijuana to be charged with a felony in Ohio.

Automatic Felony Drug Possession

The following are some controlled substances that the state of Ohio deems to be an automatic felony:

  • Acetylmethadol
  • Morphine
  • Hydroxypethidine (Bemidone)
  • Opium
  • Oxycodone
  • Morpheridine
  • Propiram
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl


There are some exceptions to this rule. Certain controlled substances that are more common have their own specific conditions, based on the bulk amount for a felony charge. These controlled substances include:

The bulk amounts that constitute a felony offense for these controlled substances include:


Amount of Cocaine


Level of Offense

5 to 10 Grams 4th Degree Felony
10 to 20 Grams 3rd Degree Felony
20 to 27 Grams 2nd Degree Felony
27 to 99 Grams 1st Degree Felony
100 Grams or More 1st Degree Felony



Amount of Marijuana


Level of Offense

200 to 999 Grams 4th Degree Felony
1000 to 4999 Grams 3rd Degree Felony
5000 to 19,999 Grams 3rd Degree Felony
20,000 to 39,999 Grams 2nd Degree Felony
40,000 Grams or More 2nd Degree Felony



Amount of Heroin


Level of Offense

1 to 5 Grams 4th Degree Felony
5 to 10 Grams 3rd Degree Felony
10 to 50 Grams 2nd Degree Felony
50 to 100 Grams 1st Degree Felony
More than 100 Grams 1st Degree Felony



Amount of LSD


Level of Offense

10 to 49 Unit Doses


1 to 4 Grams

4th Degree Felony
50 to 249 Unit Doses


5 to 24 Grams

3rd Degree Felony
250 to 999 Unit Doses


25 to 99 Grams

2nd Degree Felony
1000 to 4999 Unit Doses


100 to 499 Grams

1st Degree Felony
5000 or More Unit Doses


500 Grams or More

1st Degree Felony


Aggravated Possession

Aggravated possession charges apply when the offense involves a Schedule I or Schedule II compound, mixture, or substance. Typically, this offense adds up to a felony in the fifth degree, with higher charges applying in specific situations.

If you are found in possession of fewer than five times the bulk amount, you could be charged with a felony in the third degree. Quantities that are at least five times the bulk amount but fewer than 50 times the bulk amount translate to a second-degree felony.

If you are found in possession of a quantity of drugs that is more than 50 times but fewer than 100 times the bulk amount, you face first-degree felony charges. In the event that the number of drugs is at least 100 times the bulk amount, you will be considered a major drug offender.

Actual vs. Constructive Possession

One of the factors a judge and jury will consider when determining whether to charge you with possession or with aggravated possession of a controlled substance is whether the alleged possession was actual or constructive, as explained here in reversed ruling of State v. Mitchell, 190 Ohio App.3d 676, 2010-Ohio-5430.

Actual possession is rather straightforward. It means that you had physical possession of the controlled substance—perhaps in your pocket or purse. This possession offense presents a more clear-cut case. If actual possession did not take place, the prosecutor might try to prove constructive possession. They might try to convince the judge and jury that even though the drugs were not found in your possession, they were in your vicinity and in an area that you control, such as a secret compartment in your car or under a loose piece of carpet in your home.

A lawyer can present an alternate perspective on this situation, though. They might argue that even though you knew the controlled substance was hidden in your apartment complex, you did not exercise control over the drugs; therefore, you were not in constructive possession of them.

Penalties for Felony Drug Possession in Cincinnati

Drug possession charges are dependent on the amount and what schedule the drug is scheduled under. The United States Controlled Substances Act outlines how hazardous a controlled substance is, based on its schedule. There are five schedules under U.S. law, outlined here by the United States Drug Administration (DEA). High-risk drugs fall under Schedule I, while the least dangerous drugs are Schedule V.

Ohio Revised Code § 2925.01 defines the quantity of the drug possessed in terms of bulk amount. For instance, the bulk amount of Adderall is 5 mg or 360 tablets. Drug possession charges for certain controlled substances become enhanced for each multiple of the bulk amount.

Felonies are classified under five classes. A first-degree felony is the harshest sentencing, and a fifth-degree felony has the lightest penalties. The following are the maximum penalties for all types of felonies.

  • 5th Degree Felony
    • Possible fine up to $2,500
    • Up to 12 months in prison
  • 4th Degree Felony
    • Possible fine up to $5,000
    • Up to 18 months in prison
  • 3rd Degree Felony
    • Possible fine up to $10,00
    • Up to 5 years in prison
  • 2nd Degree Felony
    • Possible fine up to $15,000
    • Up to 8 years in prison
  • 1st Degree Felony
    • Possible fine up to $20,000
    • Up to 11 Years in Prison
    • Possible mandatory prison term

Mandatory Driver’s License Suspension in Cincinnati

Many drug offense penalties, not just felony-level crimes, can include driver’s license suspensions for a period of time. It does not matter if the alleged offender was arrested while driving their car. Losing your driver’s license can affect your insurance rates, as well.

It can be extremely difficult to continue your daily lifestyle without a driver’s license. Motor vehicles are a frequent mode of transportation in Ohio. All felony drug possession convictions are accompanied by a mandatory driver’s license suspension. If you are driving on a suspended license already, you may possibly be forced to serve jail time or forfeit your vehicle.

Collateral Consequences

Beyond the court-imposed penalties of fines and imprisonment, a conviction for felony drug possession in Ohio would generate a slew of collateral consequences that stand to impact every facet of your life. For example, among the hundreds of consequences are those that restrict:

  • Custody issues
  • Firearms privileges
  • Voting rights
  • Employment
  • Ability to run for public office
  • Deportation
  • Professional licenses
  • Eligibility for military service
  • Ability to participate in various professions

Your lawyer might be able to obtain at least partial relief of some of these collateral consequences by:

  • Having your record sealed
  • Seeking a pardon
  • Ensuring you satisfy required rehabilitation programs

Collateral consequences can change the course of your life. A felony drug possession lawyer may help ease some of the obstacles these consequences might put in your way.

Defenses to Felony Drug Possession Charges in Cincinnati

Just because you are charged with felony drug possession does not mean you have to panic. A criminal defense attorney can use their resources and knowledge to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. Every situation is different, and regardless of the circumstances, there are certain factors that can help reduce or diminish your charges.

Law enforcement must follow certain regulations when arresting a person for felony-level drug possession. If any of these procedures were done incorrectly or with unnecessary force, the penalties for your charge may be reduced.

The following are factors that may help your defense attorney formulate a drug crime defense:

  • Whether any evidence was illegally obtained
  • Whether there were any search warrants issued without probable cause
  • Whether lab results and analysis from forensics were handled properly
  • Whether illegal forms of surveillance were involved
  • Whether an illegal search was conducted
  • Whether your Fourth Amendment rights were violated

New Law Could Result in Lower Charges

In July 2020, the Ohio Senate approved a bill that affects sweeping reform to criminal sentencing in the state. Under Senate Bill 3 (SB3), most nonviolent drug possession felonies would be reclassified as misdemeanors.

Under the bill’s provisions, judges can put an indefinite pause on causes wherein defendants complete rehabilitation programs. The bill also makes it easier for those convicted of drug possession crimes to have their records sealed—a move that makes all the difference in terms of collateral consequences for convicted individuals.

Resources for Felony Drug Possession Charges in Cincinnati

Controlled Substance Bulk Amount Table – Visit the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s website to see a chart outlining the bulk amounts of controlled substances. Access the table and see the generic name, brand name, strength, schedule, and bulk amounts of different controlled substances in Ohio.

Drugs of Abuse – Gain access to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Resource Guide made by the U.S. Department of Justice. See more information about each drug schedule, federal trafficking penalties, and more detail on certain types of drugs.

Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11 – Ohio releases its statutes surrounding drug possession online for the public to see. Here you can see the elements of possession under Ohio law, the different penalties for certain drugs, and the bulk amounts for each felony offense. – This tool from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can find rehabilitation centers that help treat addiction and substance use disorders. You can search by city or ZIP code, and you can filter results by the type of treatment, options for payment, and medication.

Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission: Drug Offense Quick Reference Guide – This guide offers a reference for understanding offenses based in certain schedules of drugs.

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(October 23, 2020)
1,020 Oxycodone Pills Seized in Madison County Traffic Stop – Officers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle on Interstate 70 in Madison County for a speeding violation. The officers initiated a probable cause search. They found 1,020 oxycodone pills with a value of $30,600. George Seese, the driver, was charged with first-degree felony drug possession.

(October 7, 2020)
3 from Middletown Indicted After Alleged Drug Buy, Tossing Items During Pursuit – The Middletown police Special Operations Unit arrested three residents of Middletown after witnessing them in a drug transaction in Dayton. Police were told that one of the individuals was planning to buy heroin/fentanyl in Dayton. Police followed the suspect’s vehicle following the transaction. During the pursuit, the passengers began throwing items out of the car. When the vehicle finally stopped, powder and liquid found in plastic bags tested positive for heroin/fentanyl. Among other charges, the suspects were charged with possession of a fentanyl-related compound, which is a third-degree felony. They were also charged with two counts of a fifth-degree felony, aggravated possession of drugs.

(October 1, 2020)
Two Men Sentenced to Prison on Felony Charges – A Dayton man was sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated possession, a fifth-degree felony, and improper handling of a firearm. During a traffic stop by [the] Washington Township Police Department, the defendant was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and a loaded gun. The combination of offenses heightened their seriousness in the eyes of the court, which acknowledged the danger that police put themselves in to protect citizens.

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FAQs on Felony Drug Possession in Cincinnati

  1. Is drug possession a felony in Ohio?
    A. Yes, drug possession can be charged as a felony of the first, second, fourth, or fifth degree. The charge depends on the type and quantity of controlled substance found in the offender’s possession.
  2. What is the sentence for felony drug possession?
    A. If convicted of felony drug possession in Ohio, you face stiff penalties, including at least one year behind bars and hefty criminal fines.
  3. What are the two types of possession?
  4. Possession can be either actual or constructive. If you knowingly had direct physical control of an illegal drug, your offense is actual possession. If you have intent and capacity for exercising control over a controlled substance—but not actual possession of it—your offense is constructive possession.
  5. Can a felony drug charge be reduced to a misdemeanor in Ohio?
  6. The new Ohio Senate Bill 3 (SB3) reduces the charges of low-level, nonviolent drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. A criminal defense attorney can also argue several defenses aimed at reducing charges or having cases completely dismissed.
  7. What is aggravated possession of drugs in Ohio?
  8. Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11 defines aggravated possession as occurring when the offender has a Schedule I or II compound, mixture, or substance—with the exception of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, hashish, or LSD.

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A Felony Drug Possession Lawyer in Cincinnati Can Help You

Felony charges can be daunting. A person convicted of a felony may have the offense loom over them for the rest of their lives. Felons have difficulty accessing loans from the government, voting in elections, gaining housing, and securing job opportunities. If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony drug possession crime, you can seek a defense lawyer.

The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm are well-versed in drug offense laws in Ohio’s Revised Code. We understand that felony charges can be scary, and we want to be your partner in this legal process. Joslyn Law Firm approaches each case with new eyes and a dedication to preserving the client’s rights. Our attorneys have a true passion for criminal defense.

Joslyn Law Firm accepts clients accused of drug crimes throughout the greater Southern Ohio area and nearby counties, including Georgetown in Brown County, Batavia in Clermont County, Cincinnati in Hamilton County, and Wilmington in Clinton County.

Call us today at (513) 399-6289 or submit an online contact form for a free consultation on your case today.

  • 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 excellence.
  • 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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