In the state of Ohio, selling drugs is a serious offense, but even more so if one is caught selling drugs to minors. The law states knowingly selling, offering to sell, preparing to ship, transport, deliver, or distribute a controlled substance when you are reasonably aware the controlled substance is intended to be sold is illegal–even if the substance is not exchanged for cash and is instead gifted, transferred, or bartered. Selling to or near minors is a crime treated much more harshly than when the activity is limited to adults.
Depending on the circumstances of the drug charge, the penalties range from fifth to first degree felonies, punishable by:
- Fifth-degree felony: Six to 12 month in prison, up to $2,500 fine
- Fourth-degree felony: Six to 18 months in prison, up to $5,000 fine
- Third-degree felony: One to five years in prison, up to $10,000 fine
- Second-degree felony: Two to eight years in prison, up to $15,000 fine
- First-degree felony: Three to 11 years in prison, up to $20,000 fine
The charge automatically jumps to a third-degree felony if the criminal activity occurs within the vicinity of a school or at least one juvenile. If the amount of drug within possession at the time of the arrest is a bulk amount yet less than five times the bulk amount, and the event transpires inside the range of a school or minors, then the crime is a second-degree felony with a mandatory minimum prison sentence. When an individual has between five and fifty times the bulk amount of a controlled substance near a school or minors, then you will be charged as a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Oftentimes, people charged with this crime aren’t even aware they were near a school or minor–however, if the incident takes place within 1,000 feet of a school premises’ boundaries or within 100 feet or view of a juvenile, this can quite quickly escalate what may have been a fifth-degree felony to a first or second-degree felony.
With the help of a strong-minded and experienced West Chester criminal defense attorney, you can stand a fighting chance against these severe charges and mandatory jail time. At Meadows Law Firm, we will work tirelessly to help relieve you of these harsh charges and dedicate our time to defending your case to the best of our ability. If you have been charged with a drug crime, you deserve to have the right criminal defense team on your side to increase your chances of freedom from these critical punishments.
To schedule a consultation today, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 513.334.0777.