Cocaine is a substance commonly made into a powder from the leaves of the coca plant. Many states make this substance illegal under controlled substance laws because of its highly addictive nature. A person in West Chester Township, Ohio, can face several stiff penalties for buying, selling and possessing cocaine.
Ohio cocaine law overview
Ohio classifies drug charges into five penalty groups, Schedules I to V, ranked according to the potential for addiction. Other factors also determine how the substances are classified, such as risk to the public, medical value and scientific knowledge. Schedule I, which includes heroin, LSD and ecstasy, are substances that are highly addictive with no established medical benefit.
Schedule II includes cocaine, oxycodone and methadone, and they have some accepted medical uses but are still very addictive. Schedule III to V have moderate to low addiction risk and include anabolic steroids, ketamine, analgesics and cough syrups.
Penalties for cocaine
Possessing 20 grams or less of cocaine is a misdemeanor charge that includes a $500 fine for the first offense and no jail term. A fifth-degree felony possession charge of 5 to 25 grams of cocaine includes up to a one-year jail term and a $2,500 fine.
Possessing 5 to 9 grams of cocaine is a fourth-degree felony that includes 6 to 18 months of jail, a $5,000 fine or both. Possessing or trafficking more than 100 grams is a first-degree felony with penalties of a $20,000 fine and up to 11 years of jail. Cocaine offenses committed near a school or with a minor include penalties of up to 36 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
A drug conviction can have other consequences, such as license suspension and passport revocation. However, mistakes can be made, and the defense may suppress evidence if the police did not follow legal procedures. Sometimes, the defense can get the defendant a lesser sentence with a plea bargain or the charges dismissed.