The opioid epidemic has plagued many states and the country as a whole for quite some time. Ohio is one of the states most affected by this crisis.

In 2017, Ohio had over 4,200 overdoses related to opioids. This rate is almost three times the national average. One crucial factor is that Ohio doctors in 2017 wrote 38% fewer prescriptions than they did in 2010. This statistic shows that an increase in illegal possession of opioids has occurred.

Penalties for opioid possession

Disobeying the law by obtaining opioids without a prescription can have dire consequences. Each prescription drug is assigned a bulk amount based on the strength of the substance. Ohio uses this bulk amount to determine the corresponding punishment. If officials find you in possession of opioids, but with less than the bulk amount, they can charge you with a fifth-degree felony. You could also face the following penalties:

  • Up to $2,500 in fines
  • Jail time of 12 months or less

Having more than the bulk amount of opioids on your person can drastically increase the consequences. Police officials could charge you with a third-degree felony. Other penalties for possessing more than the bulk amount include:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Jail time ranging from nine months to three years

The legal consequences continue escalating from there. The next punishment level is having more than five times the bulk amount.

Receiving a prescription drug-related charge can be extremely stressful. The good news is that you do not have to fight this battle alone. Working with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help lower any punishments handed down by the court.