Drug crimes, like violent crimes, are of different levels and each level carries with it different penalties. Substances are listed in schedules, depending on various factors such as the potential for abuse and the charges are dependent on the schedule the substance falls under.
In Ohio, as per the Ohio Revised Code, if a substance is included in Schedule I or Schedule II (with some exceptions), then a person may be facing aggravated trafficking in drugs charges. If the trafficking is carried out in vicinity of a school or a juvenile, or is higher than a certain amount, it will be considered drug trafficking in the third degree. Depending on the weight of the substance, aggravated trafficking can be a felony in the first or second degree, and both of these carry mandatory prison sentences as penalties.
If the substance is in schedule III, IV, or V, then it is considered a felony in the fifth degree generally, and the crime is considered trafficking in drugs. However, certain factors such as proximity to a juvenile or school, and the weight of the substance involved, can change the level of the crime and thus the associated penalties.
If the substance is marijuana, then again depending on its weight and the vicinity, the charges range from trafficking in marijuana in the first degree to the fourth degree. Charges of trafficking in marijuana in the first degree and second degree generally carry mandatory prison sentences.
The criminal case against an Ohio resident often contains confusing terms such as those mentioned above and can overwhelm someone facing charges related to drug crimes. In order to prepare an aggressive defense and avoid prison time, it might be beneficial to consult an experienced defense attorney.