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How can you defend a drug possession charge in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2023 | Drug Charges

Drug overdose deaths continue to plague Ohio. From 2019 to 2020, there was a 25% increase in the fatality rate, which makes it the third state with the highest overdose death rate nationwide, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With these dreadful conditions, it only makes sense that the state has extensive and strict drug-related laws with corresponding severe penalties.

If you or a loved one are facing drug possession charges, you can still fight for your rights by building a solid defense strategy.

Drug possession defenses

Under Ohio law, controlled substances have five categories called “schedules.” Schedule I – ecstasy, LSD, heroin and GHB – are the most addictive kind with the highest probability for abuse. There are still ongoing contentions about marijuana’s inclusion in this classification. As levels of danger and abuse probability decrease for Schedules II, III and IV, their recognized medical uses also increase. Schedule V is the least dangerous, which includes over-the-counter drugs.

The prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt you’re in illegal possession of these drugs, which may be actual, meaning they’re within arm’s reach, or constructive, meaning you have knowledge and control over it even if it’s not within arm’s reach.

With the help of your defense team, you can present these common defenses:

  • Violation of your constitutional rights: You may challenge the legitimacy of the search and seizure procedures conducted by law enforcement officers. They may have entered your home without a search warrant or failed to warn you about your Miranda rights.
  • Unwitting possession: While the drugs may be in your pocket or bag, you may contend you reasonably had no way of knowing they were there. Someone may have slipped them, someone else previously handled your bag or any passenger in your car could have accessed your belongings.
  • Presenting an alibi: With adequate proof and credible witnesses, you may prove that you were in a completely different location when the crime happened.

You may also question the chain of custody handling the evidence. Any potential inconsistency, gap or weakness during any point in the process of documenting the evidence casts doubt and disintegrates the evidence’s integrity or admissibility.

Defend your future

A criminal conviction limits your future, devastates your loved ones and forever alters your life. A reliable defense team can help you prevent this from happening or guide you in reducing its damaging impact.