Drug possession charges are bad enough, but criminal penalties can become greatly increased if an alleged offender is also accused of having had an intent to distribute the drugs. These kinds of offenses are usually felonies in Ohio and carry very steep penalties for alleged offenders.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute charges are largely based on the amount of drugs an alleged offender was in possession of when they were arrested, but numerous other factors could contribute to these kinds of criminal charges. Circumstantial evidence such as baggies or scales are often used as evidence of intent to distribute, and people can be charged with this crime even when they had no actual intent to do anything with the drugs other than use them for personal consumption.

Columbus, OH Possession with Intent to Distribute Lawyer

Have you been arrested for alleged possession with intent to distribute in the greater Columbus area? You are going to need to get yourself a strong criminal defense attorney to fight the charges and help protect your freedom.

Sabol | Mallory has decades of experience handling all kinds of drug cases in Ohio and will be able to work to make sure that you are able to achieve a favorable outcome that minimizes the penalties you face. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online right now to let us examine your case and begin developing a strong defense against your criminal charges.

Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 2925.03 prohibits a person from knowingly selling or offering to sell a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog as well as preparing for shipment, shipping, transporting, delivering, preparing for distribution, or distributing a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog, when the alleged offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the controlled substance or a controlled substance analog is intended for sale or resale by the offender or another person. This is the state law for trafficking and aggravated trafficking in drugs.

Most possession with intent to distribute crimes will be based on the amount of drugs that an alleged offender was in possession of. Criminal charges are based on “bulk amounts,” which Ohio Revised Code § 2925.01 defines as meaning any of the following:

● For any compound, mixture, preparation, or substance included in schedule I, schedule II, or schedule III, with the exception of any controlled substance analog, marihuana, cocaine, L.S.D., heroin, any fentanyl-related compound, and hashish and except as provided in division (D)(2), (5), or (6) of this section, whichever of the following is applicable:

● An amount equal to or exceeding 10 grams or 25 unit doses of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule I opiate or opium derivative;

● An amount equal to or exceeding 10 grams of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of raw or gum opium;

● An amount equal to or exceeding 30 grams or 10 unit doses of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule I hallucinogen other than tetrahydrocannabinol or lysergic acid amide, or a schedule I stimulant or depressant;

● An amount equal to or exceeding 20 grams or five times the maximum daily dose in the usual dose range specified in a standard pharmaceutical reference manual of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule II opiate or opium derivative;

● An amount equal to or exceeding five grams or 10 unit doses of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of phencyclidine;

● An amount equal to or exceeding 120 grams or 30 times the maximum daily dose in the usual dose range specified in a standard pharmaceutical reference manual of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule II stimulant that is in a final dosage form manufactured by a person authorized by the "Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act," 52 Stat. 1040 (1938), 21 U.S.C.A. 301, as amended, and the federal drug abuse control laws, as defined in section 3719.01 of the Revised Code, that is or contains any amount of a schedule II depressant substance or a schedule II hallucinogenic substance;

● An amount equal to or exceeding three grams of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule II stimulant, or any of its salts or isomers, that is not in a final dosage form manufactured by a person authorized by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the federal drug abuse control laws.

● An amount equal to or exceeding 120 grams or 30 times the maximum daily dose in the usual dose range specified in a standard pharmaceutical reference manual of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule III or IV substance other than an anabolic steroid or a schedule III opiate or opium derivative;

● An amount equal to or exceeding 20 grams or five times the maximum daily dose in the usual dose range specified in a standard pharmaceutical reference manual of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule III opiate or opium derivative;

● An amount equal to or exceeding 250 milliliters or 250 grams of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule V substance;

● An amount equal to or exceeding 200 solid dosage units, 16 grams, or 16 milliliters of a compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is or contains any amount of a schedule III anabolic steroid;

● For any compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that is a combination of a fentanyl-related compound and any other compound, mixture, preparation, or substance included in schedule III, schedule IV, or schedule V, if the defendant is charged with a violation of section 2925.11 of the Revised Code and the sentencing provisions set forth in divisions (C)(10)(b) and (C)(11) of that section will not apply regarding the defendant and the violation, the bulk amount of the controlled substance for purposes of the violation is the amount specified in division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section for the other schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance that is combined with the fentanyl-related compound.

Numerous other factors can impact possession with intent to distribute charges, including the alleged offender’s prior criminal record and the location of the alleged offense.

Possession with Intent to Distribute Penalties in Columbus

Possession with intent to distribute crimes are typically classified as follows. Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substances that are less than bulk amounts are fourth-degree felony offenses, but become third-degree felony offenses if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. If the alleged offense equals or exceeds the bulk amount but is less than five times the bulk amount, the crime is a third-degree felony offense but becomes a second-degree felony  if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. If the alleged offense equals or exceeds five times the bulk amount but is less than 50 times the bulk amount, the crime is a second-degree felony but becomes a first-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. Any offense equaling or exceeding 50 times the bulk amount is a first-degree felony.

When it comes to a Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V controlled substance, a crime involving less than the bulk amount is a fifth-degree felony but becomes a fourth-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. An offense that equals or exceeds the bulk amount but is less than five times the bulk amount is a fourth-degree felony but becomes third-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. If the alleged offenses equals or exceeds five times the bulk amount but is less than 50 times the bulk amount, the crime is a third-degree felony but becomes a second-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. When an alleged offender possesses an amount that equals or exceeds 50 times the bulk amount, the crime is a second-degree felony but becomes a first-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile.

When an alleged offender possesses marijuana, less than 200 grams is a fifth-degree felony but becomes a fourth-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. If the alleged offender possesses 200 grams or more but less than 1,000 grams, the crime is a fourth-degree felony but becomes a third-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. 1,000 grams or more but less than 20,000 grams is a third-degree felony but becomes a second-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. When an alleged offender possesses 20,000 grams or more but less than 40,000 grams, the crime is a second-degree felony but becomes a first-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. Any offense involving 40,000 grams or more of marijuana is a first-degree felony.

With cocaine, less than 5 grams is a fifth-degree felony but becomes a fourth-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. If the crime involves 5 grams or more but less than 10 grams, it is a fourth-degree felony but becomes a third-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. 10 grams or more but less than 20 grams is a third-degree felony but becomes a second-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. With offenses involving 20 grams or more but less than 27 grams, the crimes are  second-degree felony offenses but become first-degree felony crimes if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. All crimes involving 27 grams or more are first-degree felony offenses and offenses involving 100 grams or more are subject to mandatory maximum prison terms.

For LSD, less than 10 unit doses in solid form or less than 1 gram in liquid form is a fifth-degree felony but becomes a fourth-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. If an alleged offender possesses 10 unit doses or more but less than 50 unit doses in solid form, or 1 gram or more but less than 5 grams in liquid form, it is a fourth-degree felony but becomes a third-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. Crimes involving 50 unit doses or more but less than 250 unit doses in solid form, or 5 grams or more but less than 25 grams in liquid form, are classified as third-degree felony offenses but become second-degree felony offenses if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. 250 unit doses or more but less than 1,000 unit doses in solid form, or 25 grams or more but less than 100 grams in liquid form lead to second-degree felony charges but become first-degree felony offenses if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. Any offense involving 1,000 unit doses or more in solid form, or 100 grams or more in liquid form are first-degree felony offenses but offenses involving 5,000 unit doses or more in solid form, or 500 grams or more in liquid form are subject to mandatory maximum prison terms.

With heroin, less than 10 unit doses or less than 1 gram is a fifth-degree felony. If an alleged offender possesses 10 unit doses or more but less than 50 unit doses, or 1 gram or more but less than 5 grams, it is a fourth-degree felony. Alleged offenses involving 50 unit doses or more but less than 100 unit doses, or 5 grams or more but less than 10 grams are third-degree felony offenses. If a person possesses 100 unit doses or more but less than 500 unit doses, or 10 grams or more but less than 50 grams, it is a second-degree felony. Any case involving 500 unit doses or more, or 50 grams or more is a first-degree felony, but cases with 1,000 unit doses or more, or 100 grams or more are subject to mandatory maximum prison terms.

For hashish, less than 10 grams in solid form or less than 2 grams in liquid form is a fifth-degree felony but becomes a fourth-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. If an alleged offender possesses 10 grams or more but less than 50 grams in solid form, or 2 grams or more but less than 10 grams in liquid form, it is a fourth-degree felony but becomes a third-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. Crimes involving 50 grams or more but less than 1,000 grams in solid form, or 10 grams or more but less than 100 grams in liquid form are classified as third-degree felony offenses but become second-degree felony offenses if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. A case with 1,000 grams or more but less than 2,000 grams in solid form, or 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams in liquid form is a second-degree felony but becomes a first-degree felony offense if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. Any offense involving 2,000 grams or more in solid form, or 400 grams or more in liquid form is also a second-degree felony but becomes a first-degree felony offense if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile and also is subject to mandatory maximum prison terms.

For controlled substance analogs (synthetic drugs), less than 10 grams is a fifth-degree felony but becomes a fourth-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. An alleged offense involving 10 grams or more but less than 20 grams is a fourth-degree felony but becomes a third-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. When an alleged offender possesses 20 grams or more but less than 40 grams, it is a third-degree felony but becomes a second-degree felony if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. A case with 40 grams or more but less than 50 grams is a second-degree felony but becomes a first-degree felony offense if committed in the vicinity of a school or juvenile. Any offense involving 50 grams or more is a first-degree felony and is subject to mandatory maximum prison terms.

Possible prison sentences in these cases could include:

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

Possession with intent to distribute crimes can also lead to suspensions of driver’s licenses for up to six months. Many licensed professionals could also face dire consequences on their standing to continue working.

Ohio Possession with Intent to Distribute Resources

State v. Foster, 109 Ohio St.3d 1, 2006-Ohio-856 — Four cases were consolidated sua sponte here and the question was whether Ohio's felony-sentencing structure violated the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution in the manner set forth in Apprendi v. New Jersey(2000), 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435, and Blakely v. Washington (2004), 542 U.S. 296, 124 S.Ct. 2531, 159 L.Ed.2d 403. The case cites United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. at 227, 125 S.Ct. 738, 160 L.Ed.2d 621, a case in which a federal jury found Booker guilty of possession with intent to distribute "at least 50 grams" of crack cocaine and the federal range for the offense was ten years to life but the trial judge concluded that Booker had possessed an additional 566 grams of crack cocaine and was guilty of obstructing justice and consequently imposed a sentence of 30 years. The Supreme Court of Ohio ultimately determined that portions of the applicable statutes were unconstitutional and applied a severance remedy similar to that adopted in Booker.

Cincinnati Bar Association v. Hennekes, 135 Ohio St.3d 106, 2012-Ohio-5689 — Jason Richard Hennekes was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 2002 but had his license suspended for two years in August 2006 after he was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 366 days in a federal penitentiary and served approximately 10 months before his release to a halfway house and had his license reinstated on September 17, 2008. A master commissioner appointed by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline found by clear and convincing evidence that Hennekes had committed several violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and recommended that Hennekes be indefinitely suspended. The  Supreme Court of Ohio adopted the board's report and permanently disbarred Hennekes.

Sabol | Mallory | Columbus, OH Possession with Intent to Distribute Attorney

If you have been accused of alleged possession with intent to distribute in Ohio, you need to take the criminal charges very seriously. You will be best served having the team at Sabol | Mallory providing a diligent defense against the criminal charges.

Do not wait to get capable legal help today. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to get your own free consultation.

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