Being arrested for drug possession in Ohio can carry some severe penalties. Depending on the type and amount of the drug, you could face a felony charge. If you are charged with additional crimes, the penalties could increase.
It can be difficult not to panic when being arrested. However, if you can remain calm, you can think more clearly about the steps to take after a drug possession arrest. Whenever possible, contact our Dayton drug crimes attorneys as soon as possible for help.
An Arrest is Not a Conviction – Stay Calm and Exercise Your Legal Rights
Arresting a person for drug possession is not the same as a conviction for drug possession. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. The state must have sufficient evidence of your guilt.
In that regard, do not help the state gather more evidence against you. You have the right to call a Dayton criminal defense lawyer before answering any questions. You have the right to remain silent.
Exercise all your legal rights after an arrest. You must provide your name and address, but that is all. Calmly, respectfully tell the police officer, investigator, or prosecutor that you want an attorney.
Do not ask if you need an attorney or say that you will not answer questions without an attorney. Those statements are not the same as asking for an attorney. You must say, “I want to speak with an attorney.”
After stating that you want an attorney, fight the urge to try to talk your way out of an arrest or a drug charge. The more you talk, the more evidence you provide that the state may use to gain a drug conviction. Remain silent and wait for your attorney.
Be Honest With Your Criminal Defense Lawyer
Your attorney may ask you to repeat what happened several times. Be patient and follow your attorney’s instructions. By retelling what happened several times, you may include details that you forgot.
Do not hide anything from your criminal defense lawyer. Anything you say to your attorney is in confidence and protected by the attorney-client privilege. Your attorney needs to know everything about your case to prepare the best defense possible to the drug possession charges.
Your attorney will request copies of all evidence that the state has against you. A careful review of the evidence may reveal weaknesses in the state’s case, such as violations of your Fourth Amendment rights, lack of probable cause, and illegally obtained evidence. These weaknesses are used to develop a defense strategy for your case.
You and your attorney discuss the various options for resolving the drug possession charges. Depending on the facts of your case and the evidence against you, your attorney may advise you to negotiate a plea agreement. In some cases, your attorney may advise you to fight the charges in court.
Ask Your Attorney About Alternatives to Jail
The penalties for drug possession in Ohio vary depending on the type of drug, the amount of drug, aggravating factors, whether you were near a school or children, and other factors. Your intent is also a factor, such as you intend to sell the drug instead of using the drug.
If you are facing minor drug possession charges and you have no prior criminal history, you may be eligible for a program in lieu of jail time. For example, you might qualify for a pretrial diversion program. You may be required to complete a drug treatment program, submit to drug testing, and complete community service.
Some individuals might be eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction (IILC). The IILC problem allows individuals to complete drug rehabilitation and enter probation instead of going to jail for drug possession. You must meet the eligibility requirements to enter the program.
Upon completion of the IILC program, the court dismisses the drug possession charges. This program allows you to avoid a criminal record for drug possession if you qualify for the program. If you fail to comply with the terms of the program, you are judged guilty and sentenced to the maximum sentence for the charge.
Contact Our Dayton Drug Possession Defense Attorneys for Help
The first step in resolving drug possession charges is to hire an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney. Having an attorney who understands the criminal statutes and the court system can be a great benefit when fighting drug charges.
If you are in trouble, contact Suhre & Associates, LLC, for a free consultation with a Dayton criminal defense attorney.