Heroin is an opioid made from morphine that may be a white or brown powder, but can also be a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Heroin may be injected, snorted, or smoked, and users frequently feel a sense of euphoria shortly after using heroin.

Heroin is frequently mixed with other illegal controlled substances, such as fentanyl or cocaine. Despite the dangers involved in its use, heroin remains a popular illicit drug in Ohio and states across the country.

Heroin Possession

Columbus, OH Heroin Possession Lawyer

If you were arrested for allegedly possessing heroin in the Columbus area, you will need to have a solid criminal defense attorney who can protect your freedom. Sabol | Mallory has handled scores of different drug possession cases and knows how to fight to win these types of cases.

Our firm understands the tremendous consequences that a heroin possession conviction can have on a person’s life and we actively work to minimize the potential damage stemming from your arrest. You can have us review your case when you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Heroin Possession Charges in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11 is the state law prohibiting the possession of illegal drugs, and Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11(C)(6) establishes that when the drug involved in a violation is heroin or a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance containing heroin, the crime is possession of heroin. The penalty for the offense shall be determined as follows:

● Under Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11(C)(6)(a), possession of heroin is generally a fifth-degree felony except for all instances listed below, and Ohio Revised Code § 2929.13(B) applies in determining whether to impose a prison term on the offender.

● Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11(C)(6)(b) establishes that when the amount of the drug involved equals or exceeds 10 unit doses but is less than 50 unit doses or equals or exceeds 1 gram but is less than 5 grams, possession of heroin is a fourth-degree felony, and Ohio Revised Code § 2929.13(C) applies in determining whether to impose a prison term on the offender.

● Under Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11(C)(6)(c), if the amount of the drug involved equals or exceeds 50 unit doses but is less than 100 unit doses or equals or exceeds 5 grams but is less than 10 grams, possession of heroin is a third-degree felony, and there is a presumption for a prison term for the offense.

● Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11(C)(6)(d) states that if the amount of the drug involved equals or exceeds 100 unit doses but is less than 500 unit doses or equals or exceeds 10 grams but is less than 50 grams, possession of heroin is a second-degree felony, and the court must impose as a mandatory prison term a second-degree felony mandatory prison term.

● Under Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11(C)(6)(e), if the amount of the drug involved equals or exceeds 500 unit doses but is less than 1,000 unit doses or equals or exceeds 50 grams but is less than 100 grams, possession of heroin is a first-degree felony, and the court must impose as a mandatory prison term a first-degree felony mandatory prison term.

● Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11(C)(6)(f) establishes that if the amount of the drug involved equals or exceeds 1,000 unit doses or equals or exceeds 100 grams, possession of heroin is a first-degree felony, the offender is a major drug offender, and the court must impose as a mandatory prison term a maximum first degree felony mandatory prison term.

Ohio Revised Code § 2929.13(B)(1)(a) states that if an alleged offender is convicted of or pleads guilty to a fourth- or fifth-degree felony that is not an offense of violence or that is a qualifying assault offense, the court must sentence the alleged offender to a community control sanction or combination of community control sanctions if the alleged offender previously has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony offense, the most serious charge against the offender at the time of sentencing is a fourth- or fifth-degree felony, and the alleged offender previously has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of violence that the offender committed within two years prior to the offense for which sentence is being imposed. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.13(B)(1)(b), the court has discretion to impose a prison term upon an offender who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a fourth- or fifth-degree felony that is not an offense of violence or that is a qualifying assault offense if any of the following apply:

● The alleged offender committed the offense while having a firearm on or about their person or under their control.

● If the offense is a qualifying assault offense, the alleged offender caused serious physical harm to another person while committing the offense, and, if the offense is not a qualifying assault offense, the alleged offender caused physical harm to another person while committing the offense.

● The alleged offender violated a term of the conditions of bond as set by the court.

● The alleged offense is a sex offense that is a fourth- or fifth-degree felony violation of any provision of Chapter 2907 of the Revised Code.

● In committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender attempted to cause or made an actual threat of physical harm to a person with a deadly weapon.

● In committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender attempted to cause or made an actual threat of physical harm to a person, and the alleged offender previously was convicted of an offense that caused physical harm to a person.

● The alleged offender held a public office or position of trust, and the offense related to that office or position; the alleged offender's position obliged the alleged offender to prevent the offense or to bring those committing it to justice; or the alleged offender's professional reputation or position facilitated the offense or was likely to influence the future conduct of others.

● The alleged offender committed the offense for hire or as part of an organized criminal activity.

● The alleged offender at the time of the offense was serving, or the alleged offender previously had served, a prison term.

● The alleged offender committed the offense while under a community control sanction, while on probation, or while released from custody on a bond or personal recognizance.

Ohio Revised Code § 2929.13(C) provides that in determining whether to impose a prison term as a sanction for a third-degree felony or a felony drug offense that is a violation of a provision of Chapter 2925 of the Revised Code and that is specified as being subject to this division for purposes of sentencing, the sentencing court must comply with the purposes and principles of sentencing under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.11 and with Ohio Revised Code § 2929.12.

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2941.1410, the determination by a court that an offender is a major drug offender is precluded unless the indictment, count in the indictment, or information charging the offender specifies that the alleged offender is a major drug offender. Imposition of a three, four, five, six, seven, or eight-year mandatory prison term upon an alleged offender under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.14(B)(9), pursuant to determination by a court that an offender is a major drug offender, is precluded unless the indictment, count in the indictment, or information charging the offender with the violation of Ohio Revised Code § 2925.03, Ohio Revised Code § 2925.05, or Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11 specifies that the alleged offender is a major drug offender and that the drug involved in the violation is a fentanyl-related compound or a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance containing a fentanyl-related compound.

Heroin Possession Penalties in Columbus

The possible consequences of a heroin possession conviction depend on how the underlying crime has been graded. Convictions are generally punishable as follows:

Fifth-Degree Felony — Up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500

Fourth-Degree Felony — Up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000

Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

Second-Degree Felony — Up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000

First-Degree Felony — Up to 11 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000

Certain alleged offenders may qualify for participation in an Ohio Drug Court. In Franklin County, Drug Court eligibility is limited to fourth-degree and fifth-degree felony offenders who have non-violent, non-sexually oriented charges and non-gun-related charges. Domestic violence charges are considered on a “case-by-case” basis, there must be no significant history of violent crimes or drug trafficking, sufficient motivation for treatment or change, a primary diagnosis of chemical dependency, and the alleged offender must meet the criteria for: ”Presumption for probation” per sentencing guidelines.

Ohio Heroin Possession Resources

2017 Ohio Drug Overdose Data - Ohio Department of Health — View a PDF from the Ohio Department of Health discussing drug overdose data in the state, with the headline being that  prescription opioid-related overdose deaths excluding involvement of fentanyl declined almost 28 percent since 2011 to an eight-year low. According to this report, unintentional heroin overdose deaths declined to 987 in 2017 after hitting a high for the reporting period with 1,444 in 2016, although heroin still accounted for 20.3 percent of unintentional drug overdose deaths. Fentanyl and heroin also accounted for 720 unintentional overdose deaths in 2017, the second-highest drug combination behind fentanyl and cocaine, and this was again a decrease from the 750 deaths in 2016.

Surveillance of Drug Abuse Trends in the State of Ohio —View an Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OASM) Network publication evaluating drug abuse trends in the state from June 2016 to January 2017. The report notes that heroin as well as marijuana, meth, and illicit sedative-hypnotics availability all increased in the Columbus region. Heroin availability also increased in the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron-Canton, and Youngstown regions.

Sabol | Mallory | Columbus, OH Heroin Possession Attorney

Were you recently arrested for an alleged heroin possession crime in Columbus or a surrounding area of Ohio? Do not delay in contacting Sabol | Mallory for help fighting the criminal charges.

Our firm knows how to attack drug possession cases and will be able to effectively represent you in court. You can have us examine your case and talk to you about everything you are dealing with when you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.

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