Many people mistakenly believe that as long as they themselves are not using, possessing or distributing drugs, they will not face criminal charges. However, according to Ohio Rev. Code 2925.13, permitting drug abuse on one's property is a crime.
The statute states that knowingly allowing someone to use their vehicle or property to commit a felony drug crime is against the law, even if they are not a drug user and are not directly involved in the drug crime taking place. Permitting drug abuse here is generally classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, but more serious offenses may be classified as a fifth-degree felony. One can be charged for drug use or distribution in one's home, business, vehicle or any other property.
Belmont County law enforcement is apparently making a strong effort to go after people who knowingly allow the usage and sale of drugs to occur on their property. A 41-year-old Ohio woman apparently allowed her friend to use heroin in the back room of her dog grooming parlor, and the friend later died of an overdose. The woman was is now facing charges for permitting drug abuse as well as tampering with evidence when she removed needles from the scene and cleaned the area.
Residents can be charged with various drug crimes, including drug possession, drug distribution and permitting drug abuse. A criminal conviction stemming from a drug crime can result in years in prison, significant fines and even a drug abuse rehab program. Once one has a criminal conviction, it can also be difficult to find a job, get a loan or gain custody. If facing drug charges of any kind, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help.