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Assertive Representation In State & Federal Court

What is “possession with intent” in Ohio?

You have been a casual drug user for a while, and so are some of your friends. While you never messed around with “hard stuff” like methamphetamine, you see nothing wrong with enjoying a few marijuana edibles or a little Ecstasy now and then. You have a good source, so sometimes your friends come to you for a little fix.

Just the same, you never anticipated being arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute after a police officer spotted your stash bag during a routine traffic stop.

How much trouble are you in? A lot. Ohio law is very complicated when it comes to drug crimes. When someone is caught with drugs, the jump from a simple possession charge to “intent to distribute,” which is a form of drug trafficking, is largely based on how much was found in your possession, the circumstances of the arrest and the opinion of the authorities.

In other words, if the arresting officer and the prosecution thinks that it looks like the drugs in your possession can’t possibly be for personal consumption, you get charged with the intent to distribute them to others. That can move a simple misdemeanor charge to a felony — which means serious prison time if you’re convicted.

If you’re charged with drug possession and possession with intent to distribute, you need to remember the cardinal rule of defendants everywhere: Do not try to talk your way out of the situation because it won’t help. Say nothing to the police or prosecutors until you’ve had the chance to seek out an experienced attorney and develop a coherent defense strategy.