When people think of drug crimes they often think of drug trafficking, drug dealing, and drug possession. Yet the long reach of the law doesn't stop there. Possessing drug paraphernalia, for example, can also lead to a criminal conviction and the imposition of strict penalties. Therefore, Ohioans need to know how best to protect themselves from such allegations of criminal wrongdoing. The first step is to know the law as it relates to drug charges.
This week we are going to briefly look at criminal offenses that involve permitting drug use. Under Ohio law, for example, it is illegal for the owner or operator of a vehicle, whether a car, truck, boat, train, or aircraft, to allow that vehicle to be used in any type of felony drug offense. The same is true for those who own or lease property. These individuals can be convicted of felony and sentenced to a prison term even if they never saw or used drugs themselves.
And the penalties can be relatively harsh, given the offense. In addition to the potential jail time one may face, a conviction for this offense could result in a suspension of one's driver's license for up to five years. This can have a domino effect on an individual's well-being, disrupting both his or her personal and professional lives.
To defend against these types of drug charges, accused individuals need to look at each specific element of the law and figure out what evidence they can present to attack those particular elements. Here, for example, a conviction can only be obtained if the accused individual "knowingly" allowed the vehicle or residence to be used for drug purposes. This level of intent can be difficult to prove, and an experienced criminal defense attorney may know how to attempt to raise reasonable doubt as to the defendant's intentions.
Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, "2925.13 Permitting drug abuse," accessed on May 19, 2017