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Marijuana felonies and misdemeanors

Marijuana remains illegal in Ohio after the most recent election in November 2015, but state residents may wonder exactly what the laws are. Possessing less than 3.5 ounces or giving someone else less than 20 grams of marijuana are minor misdemeanors for which individuals cannot be jailed. The maximum penalty is suspension of the driver's license for up to five years and $150 in fines.

For people to be charged with a felony, they must possess more than 200 grams of marijuana or more than 10 grams of hashish, or they must sell or give someone else more than 20 grams. Possessing more than 2 grams of liquid concentrate is also a felony. Individuals may face up to six months in prison and a three-year suspension of the driver's license for driving under the influence of marijuana.

Felonies are prosecuted more severely based on the amount of marijuana involved and where the incident takes place. If marijuana is sold within 100 feet of a juvenile or 1,000 feet of a school, penalties are stricter. If people sell more than 5,000 grams, they will be charged with a third-degree felony and a prison term is likely. More than 20,000 grams will result in second-degree felony charges.

People who are facing drug charges may wish to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In some cases, the attorney may find it advisable to enter into an agreement with the prosecutor that would involve the defendant entering a plea of guilty in exchange for a reduction in the penalty that is imposed. In other instances, the attorney might challenge the legality of the search that led to the seizure of the drug in question.

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