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Summit County Drug Possession LawyerWhile a person can face serious penalties for any type of criminal charges, cases involving controlled substances will often lead to some of the most serious consequences. A conviction for drug possession can lead to large fines and a lengthy prison sentence, and a person may also face other consequences, such as probation and the requirement to receive substance abuse treatment and take regular drug tests. Those who have been accused of drug-related offenses can work with a criminal defense attorney to determine their best options for avoiding or minimizing their potential penalties.

Possession of Controlled Substances in Ohio

A person may be charged with drug possession if they are accused of knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance without legal authorization (such as a prescription for a medication). Controlled substances are grouped into five “schedules” based on whether drugs are considered to be dangerous and addictive and whether they have any accepted medical uses. Schedule I drugs are generally the most addictive substances, while drugs in Schedules II-V may be used for medical purposes in some situations.

Possession of substances in Schedule I or II, with the exception of heroin, cocaine, LSD, marijuana, fentanyl, or hashish, is considered to be aggravated possession of drugs. The minimum charge for this offense is a fifth-degree felony, and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of between six months and one year, although first-time offenders may qualify for community control sanctions such as probation. However, if a person was accused of possessing at least the “bulk amount” of a drug, they may be charged with a third-degree felony, and a conviction can result in a prison sentence of between nine months and three years. Bulk amounts will vary depending on the type of drug. For example, the bulk amount of Schedule 1 opiates is 10 grams or 25 doses, while the bulk amount of Schedule II hallucinogens is 30 grams or 10 doses.

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medina county OVI lawyerEveryone should understand that driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. However, people sometimes make mistakes, and even if a person believes that it is safe for them to drive, they may be pulled over by a police officer and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. For those who have never been in this situation, the thought of facing criminal charges can be very frightening, and they will want to understand the potential consequences they could face for a first-time DUI/OVI conviction.

First-Time DUI/OVI Penalties

While drunk driving is commonly referred to as driving under the influence or DUI, the state of Ohio uses the term OVI, which is an abbreviation for operating a vehicle under the influence. A person may be charged with OVI if a chemical test shows that they had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, and Ohio law also specifies the amounts of multiple other types of drugs that will cause a person to be legally intoxicated.

A first OVI offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction will result in a mandatory jail sentence of at least three days (72 consecutive hours), and the maximum prison sentence is six months. However, a judge may choose to suspend the mandatory three-day jail sentence and require the offender to attend a drivers’ intervention program that will address issues such as traffic safety and drug and alcohol abuse. Participation in an intervention program may also be ordered alongside a jail sentence.

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Medina County criminal defense attorney weapons violations

There is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although many are looking forward to a new year, it is important to understand any new laws that are taking effect in 2021, especially if you are a gun owner. People who live in Ohio can now apply for and renew their concealed carry permits at any sheriff’s office in the state. Previously, residents could only apply for or renew their permits from the county in which they lived or a neighboring county. The new law also extends all expiration dates through June 30, 2021. In addition, if a license expires between April 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, the license is further extended an additional 90 days past the expiration date. Ohio gun laws can be detailed and complex, causing someone to unintentionally violate them, which can lead to serious criminal charges. 

Understanding Ohio Gun Laws

According to Ohio law, citizens are allowed to openly carry weapons without a permit. However, a license for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) allows a person to conceal firearms, under certain regulations that are designed with the safety of the gun owner, police, and the public in mind. When applying for a CCW, you must be 21 years older or older, and either reside or work in the state of Ohio. You must demonstrate that you are competent to use a weapon, and you will be fingerprinted and undergo a background check.

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Wayne County juvenile charges defense lawyerAlleged criminal acts are taken seriously in the state of Ohio. Offenses that are committed by an individual who is under the age of 18 are typically handled through Ohio’s juvenile justice system. In addition to the right to legal counsel in juvenile court proceedings, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution, these cases often have their own statutory provisions that expand upon that right. However, there are certain crimes that may result in a minor being charged as an adult. Therefore, if your minor child is facing charges in Ohio, it is imperative that you hire a diligent criminal defense attorney to protect your son or daughter’s rights and help them avoid a permanent criminal record.  

Penalties for Juvenile Offenses

Minors who are convicted of criminal offenses are considered delinquent. In these cases, a judge will hold a dispositional hearing to determine the appropriate sentence for a juvenile offender. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, Ohio issues various punishments for juvenile offenders, including but not limited to the following:

  • Community service

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Brunswick criminal defense attorney record sealing

As soon as you are arrested, a permanent stain will appear on your criminal record. This is true even if the arrest does not amount to a criminal charge or conviction. Unfortunately, your criminal record can largely influence your future in terms of educational and professional opportunities since the information on this record may automatically disqualify you for certain jobs. The state of Ohio has recognized the damaging effects that this societal stigma can have on those who have paid for their crimes and are trying to move forward with their lives. In order to give these individuals a second chance, Ohio legislation allows individuals with a criminal record to apply to seal their records. Since gaining the approval to seal your criminal record can be life-changing, it is important to see if you are eligible and to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney for help in completing the process.

What Does Record Sealing Do?

When you go to a job interview or apply for college, you have likely seen the “Have you committed a crime?” checkbox. For those who have never been arrested or convicted of a crime, this may not appear daunting. However, this little box can disqualify those with a criminal background from being considered for these opportunities. The state does not allow for the complete destruction of these records, but there is a way to secure these records from public review. When a record is sealed, any paper and electronic records of your arrest and criminal charges are filed in a separate and secure location. These records can still be accessed by a number of individuals, including the following:

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