Despite the overwhelming public sentiment regarding the legalization of marijuana across the United States, Ohio continues to penalize people who possess, manufacture, or sell marijuana. Marijuana and other drug sentencing laws in Ohio can be harsh and often involve mandatory prison terms if a person pleads guilty or is convicted. Some Ohio prosecutors are willing to use their discretion and offer criminal defense attorneys and their clients favorable plea bargains that are proportionate to the unique facts of the case. Other prosecutors, however, see the law as black and white and refuse to reduce charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences. At Nemann Law Offices, our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience and success representing people accused of drug possession, drug trafficking, illegal manufacturing of drugs, and illegal cultivation of marijuana charges throughout Ohio.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences Under Ohio Drug Laws

A mandatory minimum sentence acts as a "floor" for the sentencing options available to the judge. If a person is convicted of a drug crime that carries a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge is required to sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum time or to a higher sentence. The judge has no discretion to reduce mandatory minimum prison terms. The defendant is not eligible for judicial release (early release from prison) until the entire mandatory minimum sentence is served.

Some of the most common mandatory minimum sentences in drug-related crimes are usually related to one of the following:

  1. If the offense occurred within 100 feet of a minor
  2. If the offense occurred within 1,000 feet of a school
  3. A gun specification relating to the drug possession or trafficking charge
  4. The weight/amount of the drugs involved

Length of Marijuana Mandatory Prison Terms

In Ohio, there is a five-year (5) mandatory minimum sentence if a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to possession, sale, distribution, or trafficking 20,000 or more grams of marijuana.

If the amount is greater than 40,000 grams, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is eight (8) years.

Length of Hashish Mandatory Prison Terms

Possession of more than 1,000 grams but less than 2,000 grams of solid hash, or more than 200 grams but less than 400 grams of liquid hash, carries a mandatory prison term of five (5) years.

Possession of more than 2,000 grams of solid hashish or 400 grams of liquid hashish requires the judge to impose a minimum prison term of eight (8) years.

License Suspensions Associated With Drug Convictions

A conviction for drug possession, drug trafficking, or illegal manufacture of drugs carries a potential license suspension of six months to five years. A person who is placed under suspension can request the trial court for driving privileges during the duration of the suspension. Driving privileges typically include court-ordered meetings, medical appointments, and work privileges.

Criminal Defense Attorneys for Drug Charges

The criminal defense attorneys at Nemann Law Offices aggressively fight for people accused of drug crimes regardless of whether the charges are misdemeanors or felonies. We have trial experience and success handling drug possession and drug trafficking cases throughout Ohio. When motions to suppress evidence and jury trials are not good options, we work with our clients and clients' families to negotiate the best possible plea bargains for our clients. If you have been charged with a drug crime, please contact our office immediately for a consultation.

Adam Lee Nemann
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Trial and Defense Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law at Capital University, founder of Nemann Law Offices

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