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What to know if you’re facing heroin-related charges in Ohio

The latest federal government data shows that Ohio is one of a handful of states with the highest opioid-involved overdose deaths. Our state is one of only five states with a greater than 27.8 per 100,000 people opioid-related fatality rate.

Ohio has some major drug issues with heroin and other opioids within its borders. Law enforcement officials are trying to curb this crisis by arresting those involved in manufacturing, trafficking or distributing and possessing these highly addictive drugs.

What penalties are associated with heroin charges in Ohio?

Any heroin-related drug offenses are felonies here in Ohio. The recommended sentencing guidelines for these crimes vary depending on the amount of heroin involved as follows:

  • Possession of over 250 grams is a first-degree felony.
  • Possession of between 50 to 250 grams is a second-degree felony.
  • Possession of 10 to 50 grams is a third-degree felony.
  • Possession of 5 to 10 grams is a fourth-degree felony.
  • Possession of 1 to 5 grams is a fifth-degree felony.

Ohio law authorizes judges to impose the maximum prison sentence on defendants convicted on first-degree felony charges.

Charges may become aggravated depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense. One example is if prosecutors allege that the defendant possessed heroin within 100 feet of a minor or 1,000 feet of a school. The judge may impose enhanced sentences in these situations.

At the same time, Ohio is keen on getting first-time defendants with substance abuse issues enrolled in drug court. Your participation in such a program may aid you in getting the treatment that you need to help you kick your drug habit while also helping you avoid a potential conviction on your permanent record.

You’ll want to carefully weigh the charges and penalties that you’re facing. You’ll want to keep it at the forefront of your mind when building a defense strategy in your case.