LegalReader.com  ·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Likely Outcomes of a Felony 5 Drug Possession Charge in Ohio


— July 20, 2020

If you face a felony 5 drug possession charge in Ohio, hiring a criminal defense lawyer gives you the best chance at getting your charges reduced or dropped.


In Ohio, felony 5 drug possession is also known as fifth-degree felony drug possession. It is the least severe type of felony drug charge. The State of Ohio can charge you with felony 5 drug possession if you possess less than the bulk amount of a controlled substance or a specific amount of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or LSD.

A felony 5 drug possession charge in Ohio carries a punishment of six to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

If you face felony 5 drug possession charges in Ohio, you should contact an Ohio drug crimes lawyer as soon as possible.

Overview of Ohio Drug Possession Laws

It is important to understand how Ohio drug possession laws work when you are charged with a drug offense. Under Ohio law, drugs are classified by schedule based on the type of drug. The degrees of drug possession charges are based on “bulk amounts.” Bulk amounts are benchmark quantities that are used to determine the appropriate penalty based on the quantity of the drug.

Schedule I Drugs

Schedule I drugs are drugs that have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Examples include:

  • Marijuana,
  • Heroin, and
  • LSD.

However, there is now some accepted medical use of marijuana in Ohio. Patients must obtain a state license to obtain medical marijuana from a state dispensary.

Schedule II Drugs

Distributor Has Been Shipping Excess Opioids to Small Towns
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Schedule II drugs are those with a high potential for abuse but have limited accepted medical use. Examples of Schedule II drugs include:

  • Methamphetamine,
  • Cocaine,
  • Fentanyl, and
  • Oxycodone.

Schedule II drugs can lead to severe mental and physical dependence.

Schedule III Drugs

Schedule III drugs have accepted medical uses and a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs. Anabolic steroids are a common type of Schedule III drug.

Schedule IV Drugs

Schedule IV drugs have accepted medical uses. Examples of Schedule IV drugs include:

  • Valium, 
  • Xanax, and 
  • Ambien.

They also have a lower potential for dependence and abuse than Schedule I, II, or III drugs.

Schedule V Drugs

Schedule V drugs have the most common medical uses and the lowest potential for abuse. Cough suppressants are a common example of Schedule V drugs.

Likely Outcomes and Charges of a Felony 5 Drug Possession in Ohio

The State of Ohio can charge you with felony 5 drug possession depending on the type and quantity of the substance in your possession. 

Felony 5 drug possession penalties are different for marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and LSD than all other Schedule I or II substances. Felony 5 drug possession charges will result from:

  • Possession of greater than or equal to 200 grams but less than 1,000 grams of marijuana;
  • Possession of less than 10-unit doses or less than one gram of heroin;
  • Possession of fewer than five grams of cocaine;
  • Possession of less than 10-unit doses or less than one gram of LSD; or
  • Possession of less than the bulk amount of any other Schedule I or II substance.

Additionally, if you have a prior drug possession conviction, a felony 5 charge will result from the possession of less than the bulk amount of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug. 

Other Potential Consequences

In addition to jail time and fines, you can face many consequences for a felony 5 drug possession charge in Ohio. If convicted of fifth-degree felony drug possession, the State of Ohio can suspend your driver license. You could also receive a permanent or temporary loss of professional licenses, such as a law, nursing, or medical license.

Additionally, a fifth-degree felony charge will be on your permanent criminal record. This can make it harder for you to get a job in the future.

Possible Defenses

The defenses an attorney may be able to raise depend on the facts of your case.

If the police obtained the drugs through an unreasonable search or seizure in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, the drugs might be excluded from evidence. 

Furthermore, any incriminating statements you might have made after your arrest could be excluded if the police failed to advise you of your right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment.

To get an idea of what defenses might apply to your case, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer today.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

If you face a felony 5 drug possession charge in Ohio, hiring a criminal defense lawyer gives you the best chance at getting your charges reduced or dropped. Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys at the Joslyn Law Firm pride themselves on helping good people who happen to be in a bad situation get a second chance. We do not believe that a drug possession charge should define your life. We will fight to get you the best possible result that we can.

By Brian Joslyn

Contact Joslyn Law Firm for legal assistance, questions, or representation.

Join the conversation!