My law practice includes helping people accused of drug crimes minimize or avoid the consequences of conviction through constitutional challenges to the circumstances of an arrest, execution of a search warrant, or traffic stop of a motor vehicle whenever the facts and the law warrant it. For first-time felony drug offenders, it is often possible to obtain referral of your case to Drug Court, which focuses on community-based drug treatment programs and rehabilitation as a constructive alternative to punishment.
If the facts of your case show that conviction of a felony offense is a likely outcome, I do everything possible to find sentencing alternatives that will keep you out of prison. This can often be accomplished through negotiation with the prosecution toward a mutually acceptable guilty plea, or through a well prepared and persuasive presentation to the court at a sentencing hearing.
Drug crimes can include but are not limited to the following:
- • Cultivation of marijuana or manufacture of methamphetamine
- • Distribution, trafficking or conspiracy to distribute any illegal drug, including heroin, crack, or cocaine
- • Unauthorized possession or sale of painkillers and other prescription drugs
- • Possession of drugs or paraphernalia in a motor vehicle
- • Drug abuse charges
- • Drug-related arrests during a period of probation or parole
- • Asset forfeiture proceedings involving cash, vehicles, or other property allegedly related to a drug offense
Conviction for a drug crime at any level can have an adverse effect on your freedom, your employment, your ability to obtain or retain various professional licenses, your ability to obtain housing or student loans, and other collateral consequences.
One more thing that needs to be discussed here is marijuana tickets. Even though marijuana tickets do not put your freedom in jeopardy, they can still have undesirable consequences. The penalty for a marijuana ticket is only a fine of up to $150.00 in Ohio , but there are more serious consequences that most people are unaware of. First, when you pay the ticket by mail or plead “guilty” or “no contest” to a marijuana ticket, your driver’s license is suspended for at least 6 months. Things get even more complicated when potential employers run a background check on you, because the marijuana ticket will show up as a “Drug Abuse” or “Drug Possession” charge, and the background check printouts do not differentiate between marijuana tickets and felony drug possession/abuse charges for harder drugs like cocaine or heroin.
If you are charged with a drug crime, or you get a marijuana ticket, it is important to call an attorney right away, before you do anything. Your case can be examined to determine if there are any legal or factual defenses to the ticket, and an attorney is typically in a better position to try to get the charge amended. The consequences for ignoring this advice can have a negative effect on employment and educational opportunities (i.e. your future).