In Ohio, drug trafficking offenses carry potentially serious consequences. The level of the charge and the corresponding sentence severity depends upon the type of drug being trafficked, the location where the alleged offense occurred and the amount of drug in question. Felony levels for drug trafficking range from a minor misdemeanor for trafficking less than 20 grams of marijuana by gift to a first-degree felony with a mandatory maximum prison sentence for people classified as major drug offenders.
The law treats trafficking in certain different drugs more harshly than others. Drug trafficking involving less than five grams of cocaine is a fifth-degree felony, but if the cocaine trafficking was near a school, it is a fourth-degree felony. Trafficking five to 10 grams of cocaine is a fourth-degree felony, 10 to 20 grams is a third-degree felony, 20 to 27 grams is a second-degree felony with a mandatory prison term, 27 to 100 grams is a first-degree felony and over 100 grams is a major drug offense with a mandatory maximum prison term for a first-degree felony.
Penalties for drugs such as heroin, LSD and hashish follow similar schemes to cocaine. Marijuana is viewed much less harshly, and it is the only drug that has any misdemeanor trafficking convictions available. Trafficking in large amounts of marijuana, however, can bring severe felony consequences as well. For example, amounts over 40,000 grams is a first-degree felony.
Drug trafficking charges have the potential to land the accused person in prison for many years. People who are accused of a drug offense need to be aware that the penalties vary depending on the type of drug and the amount allegedly trafficked. They may benefit by seeking the help of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, "2925.03 Trafficking, aggravated trafficking in drugs.", November 11, 2014