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Dayton Drug<br>Trafficking Lawyer

Dayton Drug
Trafficking Lawyer

A drug trafficking conviction can have serious consequences. Gounaris Abboud is a top criminal law firm experienced in fighting charges for drug crimes in Ohio. Contact us to learn more.

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Accused of Trafficking, Transporting, or Smuggling Drugs in Ohio?

While other states have loosened their drug laws, Ohio retains harsh penalties for drug crimes. When prosecutors charge you with drug trafficking, we use our five decades of experience to present your defenses.

Since the firm’s founding in 2010, we have helped thousands of clients accused of drug crimes. Many drug trafficking charges rely on circumstantial evidence of intent. We explain your side of the story in our fight to obtain a fair and just outcome in your case.

How Does Ohio Define Drug Trafficking?

Imagine you get pulled over while driving home from your friend’s house. The police officer finds drugs and cash in your car. This common scenario could end with you sitting in jail, facing felony drug crime charges.

Ohio drug trafficking charges cover the following two activities:

  • Selling or offering to sell controlled substances.
  • Transporting or assisting in transporting controlled substances intended for sale or resale.

Unfortunately for those accused of drug trafficking offenses, the statute defines these terms broadly, and courts have expanded the definitions of these terms to cover almost any activity associated with supplying or transferring illegal drugs.

Common Drug Trafficking Crimes We Handle in Dayton, Ohio

Each step of preparing, transporting, and selling an illegal drug might violate Ohio drug laws against trafficking.

Specifically, Ohio takes a broad view of these transactions and may charge anyone who participated in any of the following activities:

  • Transferring an illegal drug, including distributing, selling, trading, bartering, or giving it away.
  • Preparing drugs for distribution, including weighing or packaging them.
  • Transporting drugs for sale or distribution by any means, including by car, truck, boat, or bicycle.
  • Shipping drugs through the mail or via a delivery service like FedEx or UPS.

Importantly, you do not need to be the person distributing or selling the drugs. Prosecutors can file trafficking drug charges against intermediaries carrying drugs from distributors to dealers as long as they knew or had reason to believe their cargo included drugs intended for sale or resale.

Aggravated Drug Trafficking

Aggravated drug trafficking is ordinary trafficking with certain aggravating factors, including the following:

  • The drug involved
  • The amount of drugs
  • The location of the trafficking

Prosecutors can only file aggravated trafficking charges for Schedule I or II drugs, except marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, fentanyl, or hashish.

Thus, these charges often apply to:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Hallucinogens other than LSD
  • Non-opiate narcotics
  • Depressants

Once prosecutors find the right drugs, they use the amount seized and the location of the offense to determine the severity of the charge, ranging from a fourth-degree felony to a first-degree felony.

Drug Trafficking vs. Drug Possession

Prosecutors can charge you with drug possession if you knowingly obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance. The charges range from a minor misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.

This definition includes prescription drugs without a corresponding prescription. Thus, drug possession charges could happen when a police officer finds loose Xanax pills in your car.

Drug trafficking charges require proof of intent.

The following circumstances might allow prosecutors to upgrade drug possession to drug trafficking charges:

  • Presence of text messages arranging drug sales
  • Possession of a scale or baggies
  • Possession of large amounts of cash

Trafficking is always a felony charge.

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Get Legal Representationfor Your Drug Trafficking Case

Just a few facts make the difference between minor possession and a felony charge for trafficking. Contact us to fight for a fair outcome for your drug charges.

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Ohio Penalties for Drug Trafficking Offenses

To differentiate between drugs, Ohio has adopted drug schedules that divide controlled substances into five categories. The category affects the penalties for drug crimes. The scheduling of a controlled substance depends on its usefulness and risk of addiction.

  • Schedule I includes the most dangerous drugs, such as heroin, LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, peyote, Ecstasy, MDMA, GHB, and THC from marijuana.
  • Schedule II includes useful but dangerous drugs with a high risk of addiction, such as cocaine, codeine, oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, methamphetamine, and pentobarbital.
  • Schedule III includes medically useful drugs with a moderate risk of abuse, such as anabolic steroids, barbiturates, and ketamine.
  • Schedule IV includes useful drugs that rarely cause dependency, such as Soma, Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, and tramadol.
  • Schedule V includes pharmaceuticals with a low risk of addiction, such as cough medicine.

The tables below summarize the penalties.

Schedule I or Schedule II Drug

Amount Charge Penalty
Less than the bulk amount Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
Equal to or greater than the bulk amount but less than five times the bulk amount Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
Equal to or greater than five times the bulk amount but less than 50 times the bulk amount Second-degree felony Mandatory two to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine
Equal to or greater than 50 but less than 100 times the bulk amount First-degree felony Mandatory three to 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine
Equal to or greater than 100 times the bulk amount First-degree felony Mandatory 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine

Schedule III, IV, or V Drug

Amount Charge Penalty
Less than the bulk amount Fifth-degree felony Optional six to 12 months of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
Equal to or greater than the bulk amount but less than five times the bulk amount Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
Equal to or greater than five times the bulk amount but less than 50 times the bulk amount Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
Equal to or greater than 50 times the bulk amount Second-degree felony Mandatory two to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine

Specific Drug Trafficking Penalties in Ohio

Drug crime penalties in Ohio depend on the type and amount of drug trafficked. The penalties for drug crimes in Ohio are meant to correspond roughly to the danger of the specific controlled substance. For example, the penalties for trafficking heroin are significantly harsher than those for trafficking marijuana.

The Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission provides a quick reference guide to help judges, prosecutors, and criminal defense lawyers determine the likely sentence for various types and amounts of drugs.

This guide includes the following tables:

Heroin

Amount Charge Penalty
Less than one gram Fifth-degree felony Optional six to 12 months of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
One gram or more but less than five grams Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
Five grams or more but less than ten grams Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
Ten grams or more but less than 50 grams Second-degree felony Mandatory two to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine
50 grams or more but less than 100 grams First-degree felony Mandatory three to 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine
250 grams or more First-degree felony Mandatory 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine

Cocaine

Amount Charge Penalty
Less than five grams Fifth-degree felony Optional six to 12 months of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
Five grams or more but less than ten grams Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
Ten grams or more but less than 20 grams Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
20 grams or more but less than 27 grams Second-degree felony Mandatory two to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine
27 grams or more but less than 100 grams First-degree felony Mandatory three to 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine
100 grams or more First-degree felony Mandatory 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine

Marijuana

Amount Charge Penalty
Gifts of less than 20 grams Minor misdemeanor No jail and a $150 fine
Less than 200 grams Fifth-degree felony Optional six to 12 months of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
200 grams or more but less than one kilogram Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
One kilogram or more but less than five kilograms Third-degree felony Optional nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
Five kilograms or more but less than 20 kilograms Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
20 kilograms or more but less than 40 kilograms Second-degree felony Mandatory five to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine
40 kilograms or more Second-degree felony Mandatory eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine

LSD

Amount Charge Penalty
Less than one gram Fifth-degree felony Optional six to 12 months of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
One gram or more but less than five grams Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
Five grams or more but less than 25 grams Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
25 grams or more but less than 100 grams Second-degree felony Mandatory two to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine
100 grams or more but less than 500 grams First-degree felony Mandatory three to 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine
500 grams or more First-degree felony Mandatory 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine

Hashish or THC Concentrates

Amount Charge Penalty
Less than ten grams of solid or two grams of liquid Fifth-degree felony Optional six to 12 months of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
Ten to 50 grams of solid or two to ten grams of liquid Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
50 to 250 grams of solid or ten to 50 grams of liquid Third-degree felony Optional nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
250 grams to one kilogram of solid or 50 to 200 grams of liquid Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
One to two kilograms of solid or 200 to 400 grams of liquid Second-degree felony Mandatory five to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine
Two kilograms or more of solid or 400 grams or more of liquid Second-degree felony Mandatory eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine

Synthetic Drugs

Amount Charge Penalty
Less than ten grams Fifth-degree felony Optional six to 12 months of incarceration and a $2,500 fine
Ten grams or more but less than 20 grams Fourth-degree felony Optional six to 18 months of incarceration and a $5,000 fine
20 grams or more but less than 30 grams Third-degree felony Presumption of nine to 36 months of incarceration and a $10,000 fine
30 grams or more but less than 40 grams Second-degree felony Mandatory two to eight years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine
40 grams or more but less than 50 grams First-degree felony Mandatory three to 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine
50 grams or more First-degree felony Mandatory 11 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine

Major Drug Offenders (MDO)

Major drug offenders (MDOs) are subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence under Ohio drug laws.

Four criteria must be met to be an MDO:

  • The police find a large amount of drugs
  • Prosecutors charge you as an MDO
  • You are convicted of or plead guilty to drug crimes
  • A judge determines you meet the MDO definition

Classification as an MDO depends on the amount and type of drug involved, including:

  • 1 kilogram of hashish
  • 100 grams of cocaine
  • 100 grams of heroin
  • 500 grams of LSD
  • 100 grams of fentanyl

Marijuana is excluded from the definition of MDO.

Other Consequences of a Drug Trafficking Conviction

A trafficking conviction can result in more than a prison sentence. Courts can require you to pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Even after your release, you may have to live under certain conditions until you complete parole. These conditions will include periodic check-ins with a parole officer as well as limits on where you can work and live.

Licensing agencies can consider felony drug offenses in deciding whether to grant or renew licenses. As a result, you could lose your commercial driver’s license, contractor’s license, or other professional licenses after a drug possession or trafficking conviction.

A felony conviction for drug possession or trafficking will go onto your criminal record. Employers, school administrators, and landlords will see your conviction on a criminal record check. As a result, you might be denied employment, schooling, and rental homes.

Possible Defenses in Drug Trafficking Cases

Under Ohio law, trafficking charges are designed to attack the controlled substance supply chain. It is not designed to address drug abuse, drug possession, or possession of drug paraphernalia. As a result, prosecutors must show defendants knowingly participated in controlled substances distribution.

Your Dayton drug crime lawyers will raise a few types of defenses. First, they can negate an element of the crime.

The following defenses fall into this category:

  • You did not know you had a controlled substance.
  • You did not intend to sell or distribute the controlled substances.
  • You were unaware that the controlled substances were intended for sale or resale.

Another defense your drug trafficking lawyer can raise might include illegal actions by the police.

These defenses include:

  • The police conducted an unlawful search.
  • You were arrested without probable cause or a warrant.
  • The police questioned you after you requested a defense attorney.
  • Your confession was coerced.

Finally, you may have defenses based on the facts of your case. For example, prosecutors might have incorrectly assumed you had no prescription for the prescription drugs in your possession. Or they might have mis-weighed the drugs, charging you with a greater amount than they seized.

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How Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help with Drug Charges?

Our Dayton drug crime lawyers defend clients charged with all types of crimes. Whether you face accusations of drug possession or trafficking, we mount a stalwart defense by providing the following services:

1.

Listening to your story and discussing your goals

2.

Examining the evidence against you

3.

Interviewing prosecution witnesses and identifying defense witnesses

4.

Reviewing police actions during the investigation, questioning, and arrest

5.

Tailoring a legal defense for the facts of your case

Ultimately, our goal is to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to fight for a fair outcome.

Why Choose Gounaris Abboud for Drug Crimes Defense in Dayton?

A Dayton drug trafficking lawyer from Gounaris Abboud defends you from the full might of the state as you battle your charges. We provide the following benefits:

Over 50 years of combined legal experience

Over 50 years of combined legal experience

A customized criminal defense

A customized criminal defense

Aggressive advocacy for your rights

Aggressive advocacy for your rights

High ratings by peers and clients

High ratings by peers and clients

Quick responses to questions and requests for updates

Quick responses to questions and requests for updates

Hear What<span class="subtitle">Our Clients Are Saying</span>

Hear WhatOur Clients Are Saying

5
Attorney Nick Gounaris handled my case and he did a wonderful job. I am very pleased with this law firm. I have never been in the situation I found myself in ever before and it was scary and confusing, but Nick and his staff were wonderful with answering my many questions and they were very sympathetic and understanding, always quick to respond when I would call. I am happy with the outcome of my case. If you find yourself in a situation that needs legal help, these are the guys to call!
Melinda Q.
5
They did absolutely everything possible to help reduce the sentence and charges faced. The fees for their services were worth every cent and superior to any public defendant representation. They both put their hearts into their work and care like nobody else I have ever encountered in the legal system.
Melinda Q.
5
I found Gounaris and Abboud through good online reviews. Mr. Abboud handled my cases very professionally for two years. He truly takes his cases to heart and cares about his clients. He keeps you informed and has all the answers to all your questions. You really feel safe with Mr. Abboud as your lawyer. I would highly recommend him to anyone needing professional family law representation.
Patty M.

Arrested? Get the Right Defense Lawyeron Your Side

A felony drug trafficking charge can jeopardize your freedom and future. Contact Gounaris Abboud for a free case analysis to learn how we can defend you.
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FAQ

What should I do if I have been charged with drug trafficking?

The following steps may affect the outcome of your charges:

  • Deny permission for property searches
  • Do not talk to the police without a drug trafficking lawyer present
  • Call an experienced criminal defense attorney before your first court appearance

Contacting a law firm early after your arrest might preserve your freedom.

Can I be charged with drug trafficking even if I did not physically transport controlled substances?

Yes. Drug trafficking includes any acts to prepare Schedule I or II drugs for sale, including:

  • Weighing
  • Packaging
  • Texting or calling dealers or customers

Even if you never transport the drugs, assisting in the sale or distribution could result in a drug conviction for trafficking.

How do drug trafficking charges differ between state and federal law?

Ohio drug laws against trafficking differ in several ways from those enforced by the federal government.

Some differences include:

  • Scheduling of drugs
  • Minimum mandatory sentencing
  • Scope of investigation

Generally, federal charges are usually reserved for international or multi-state operations, while the state can only prosecute crimes occurring in Ohio.

What are the potential immigration consequences of a drug trafficking conviction?

Lawful immigrants can lose their conditional green cards or visas for aggravated felonies like trafficking, exposing them to deportation. If you try to re-enter the U.S., the government can deny your application for an immigration visa. Thus, you must avoid conviction or downgrade your charges to remain in the U.S.