Felony Drug Possession

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

Felony charges can completely alter a person's lifestyle. 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.

A felony charge is nothing to laugh at. If you have been charged for a felony drug possession, it is vital that you gain legal representation.

Cincinnati Attorneys for Felony Drug Possession Charges in Ohio

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 should seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Joslyn Law Firm is knowledgeable about all types of felony drug crimes under Ohio law. Our attorneys have over 20 years of combined experience aggressively 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. Find an attorney who is respected. Brian Joslyn, Joslyn Law Firm founder, was chosen as a top criminal defense lawyer in Ohio by Columbus CEO Magazine.

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 to schedule a consultation today.

Overview for Felony Drug Possession in Ohio

Types of Felony Controlled Substances in Cincinnati, Ohio

Ohio laws outline elements necessary to charge for possession. 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.

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 bulk amount for a felony charge. These controlled substances include:

  • Cocaine
  • Hashish
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)

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


Penalties for Felony Drug Possession in Ohio

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. The highest risk of abuse drugs are 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, where 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 Ohio

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 in or 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 the main mode of transportation in Ohio. All felony drug possession convictions are accompanied by a mandatory driver license suspension. If you are driving on a suspended license already, you may possibly be forced to serve jail time or forfeit your vehicle.

How to Reduce Felony Drug Possession Charges in Cincinnati, Ohio

Just because you are charged with felony drug possession, doesn't mean you have to panic. An experienced criminal defense attorney can use their resources and knowledge to poke holes in the prosecution's case. Every situation is different, 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 qualified defense attorney formulate a 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; and
  • Whether your Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

Additional Resources

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.

Lawyer for Felony Drug Possession in Cincinnati, Ohio

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 limit to their job opportunities. If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony drug possession crime, it is important you seek a qualified 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. We have been admitted into several esteemed law associations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the American Association of Justice.

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.

This article was last updated on August 20, 2018