Illegal Cultivation And Grow Houses In Cincinnati Ohio
While laws about the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana have changed recently, growing marijuana in Ohio is still illegal. As a result, you can still be charged with illegal cultivation and face severe penalties, including prison time and fines. In that case, hiring a Cincinnati marijuana cultivation defense lawyer is crucial.
Cincinnati Marijuana Cultivation Defense Lawyer
Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm can help you avoid the most severe penalties and punishments for your marijuana cultivation charges in Ohio. Reach out to Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm by calling (513) 399-6289 or filling out an online form for a free, confidential consultation.
- Marijuana Cultivation Operations In Ohio
- Ohio Law On Cultivation Of Marijuana
- Penalties For Marijuana Cultivation
- Statistics On Grow House Operations
- Probable Cause To Search Grow House Operations
- Property Seizure As A Result Of Cultivation Charges
- Federal Law Regarding Grow Houses
- Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm │ Marijuana Grow Houses
A marijuana grow house can be either an indoor or outdoor system that consists of sophisticated irrigation systems, lighting systems, and electrical wiring. In Ohio, these operations are not allowed, and cannabis products cannot be legally traded across state lines.
Ohio law provides that the cultivation of marijuana is a specific intent offense. It also defines cultivation as the knowledge of illegal preparation, production, growing, producing, or manufacturing of marijuana or substances containing marijuana. Because the charge is specific intent, the offender must knowingly or reasonably believe the cultivated substance is marijuana.
While Ohio law generally classifies marijuana cultivation as a misdemeanor, it can carry fines and has a presumption of prison time, depending on the degree of the offense depending on where it was committed, and the amount of marijuana in question.
Under Ohio law, the cultivation of marijuana can either be a misdemeanor or felony offense, but it depends on the amount being grown or cultivated. The following consequences can be applied to an offender if convicted, which may include the following:
- Prison time
- Criminal record
- Mandatory driver’s license suspension for a minimum of six months
- Loss of professional licenses
- Inability to apply for certain types of employment
- Denial of entrance into certain foreign countries
- Denial of a right to vote or own a firearm in felony convictions
In some situations, you may be able to get your criminal record sealed. This can generally only be done three years after you were found guilty or after jail time was completed for a misdemeanor, or, for a felony, seven years after you were found guilty or after jail time was completed, whichever date is later.
Cultivation Of Marijuana Penalties In Ohio
The severity of the penalty in each case depends on the amount of marijuana possessed or cultivated. The table below illustrates the consequences of marijuana cultivation offenses.
|Marijuana Volume||Offense Level||Maximum Penalty||Offense Level if in the Vicinity of School or a Juvenile||Maximum Penalty|
|Less than 100 grams||MM||$150 fine||Misdemeanor 4||30 days|
|100 – 200 grams||M-4||30 days in jail||Misdemeanor 3||60 days|
|200 grams – 1 kilogram||Felony 5||6-12 months in jail||Felony 4||6-18 months|
|1 – 5 kilograms||Felony 3||1-5 years in prison||Felony 2||2-8 years|
|5 – 20 kilograms||Felony 3||1-5 years in prison||Felony 2||2-8 years|
|Greater than 20 kilograms||Felony 2||2-8 years in prison||Felony 1||3-10 years|
In 2020, approximately 19,000 arrests were made for marijuana-related charges. However, throughout the United States, since possession of a certain amount of marijuana has become legal, weed-related arrests have decreased by approximately 36 percent since 2019.
Law enforcement officials have increased the time and resources used for arresting and charging marijuana cultivators in recent years. In addition, law enforcement uses a variety of innovative tactics for monitoring marijuana grow house operations, including surveillance of supply stores that sell the necessary cultivation supplies.
Informants may also be used to target an offender; however, a search warrant must be issued through probable cause. Tips are often acquired from informants with a particular bias against the alleged offender or with personal motivation to exchange information for a reduction or dismissal of their pending criminal charges.
Investigations and searches of marijuana grow houses are usually conducted through stakeouts of homes, but other tactics include meter reading, unusual electricity consumption, police helicopter surveillance, and thermal imaging devices.
Probable cause is required to obtain a search warrant to perform a lawful search of someone’s person or property. However, requirements differ depending on whether it is an indoor or outdoor grow house.
Probable Cause To Search An Indoor Grow House
Several methods are used to obtain probable cause, including informants, finding paraphernalia in your trash can on a street curb, detecting the smell, or even through an electric bill. High electric bills with the detection of marijuana smell are generally enough to obtain a warrant to search the premises.
Moreover, once your trash can is moved to the street, you no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy; therefore, an officer may legally go through your trash to find evidence. Another method is through confidential informants who report the activity to the police.
For evidence to be used in a trial against you, the police must have found the evidence through a legal search and seizure, which requires a warrant unless there were exigent circumstances. If the search was not done legally, your attorney might file a motion to suppress the evidence due to the violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Probable Cause To Search Outdoor Grow Houses
Because an outdoor grow house may be visible from a public street, it may be easier for officers to obtain a warrant through their own “testimony.” However, they may employ the above methods as well. While the grow house may be visible, that does not mean that the officer may search without a warrant. As stated above, if they do search without a warrant, the evidence may be suppressed during a trial.
Grow houses may be found by accident by law enforcement who are passing by and smell the strong scent; they will use that to begin an investigation.
Under Ohio law, contraband may be seized that relates to an underlying felony. As a result, if you have a grow house on your premises, the government may seize your premises. You must be given notice within three days of the seizure to seize your property. Notice may be given verbally or by certified mail with a requested return receipt.
The seized property cannot be held for more than 72 hours unless more time is authorized by a court to continue the inspection and investigation to collect evidence. The agency must file a petition with the court to get the extension.
The federal Controlled Substances Act governs the possession, distribution, and cultivation of large amounts of marijuana. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, all marijuana offenses can result in prison time. The more marijuana involved or where there are prior convictions, the higher the sentence. For example:
- Prior convictions may result in no jail time but up to 12 months of probation.
- No prior convictions but possession of over one kilogram may result in six to 12 months of jail time with the possibility of probation.
- No prior convictions but possession of 2.5 kilograms or more will result in at least six months.
- Multiple prior convictions may result in two to three years in prison without a chance of probation.
If you or a loved one has been arrested or you believe you are under investigation, contact an attorney who will help form a solid defense and help you through the process. The attorneys of Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm are experienced marijuana crimes defense attorneys who will make every effort to help you get the best outcome on your case. Contact Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm by calling (513) 399-6289 or filling out an online form for a free, confidential consultation.