A conviction for a drug crime in Ohio can leave you with severe legal penalties. Ohio prosecutors aggressively pursue penalties against criminal drug offenders. If you face drug charges in Akron, you need a legal team to advocate for you every step of the way.
The experienced Akron drug crime attorneys at Patituce & Associates, LLC are ready and willing to defend you against your pending criminal charge and work to secure the best possible result in your case. We can formulate a solid legal defense on your behalf or negotiate a fair plea deal with the state prosecutor handling your case.
To learn how our Akron Drug Crime Lawyers can benefit your case and future, please contact our firm directly for more information.
Why Choose Our Firm for Your Legal Needs?
We know you have a choice when selecting legal counsel to represent you against your pending criminal drug charge. The knowledgeable Akron drug crime attorneys at Patituce & Associates, LLC, have the necessary knowledge and experience to help achieve a favorable result in your criminal case.
Our legal team has more than 70 years of combined experience successfully defending individuals facing criminal charges. In addition, three of our legal team members once worked as state prosecutors. Therefore, we thoroughly understand how prosecutors build their cases from top to bottom. We then use that knowledge and experience to our clients’ advantage.
Our legal team can defend against your pending criminal charge in several ways. First, we can challenge the prosecution’s evidence in your case by hiring a toxicology expert.
We can also file a motion with the court on your behalf, especially if it appears that your drug arrest stemmed from a warrantless search or an illegal search and seizure. In the motion, we can detail the reasons why the state should dismiss your drug charge.
In addition, we can investigate potential legal defenses to your drug charge, such as constitutional violations. If your case ultimately goes to a bench or jury trial, we can represent you at that proceeding and introduce favorable evidence to the court on your behalf.
Finally, we can explore various alternatives to incarceration, such as working out a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor handling your case.
Our office is in Downtown Akron at 520 South Main Street, Suite 2511, Akron, OH 44331. Let us help secure the best possible result in your criminal drug case.
Potential Penalties Upon Conviction for an Akron Drug Charge
Ohio state prosecutors aggressively pursue criminal drug charges and frequently ask for the maximum penalty that a judge can impose by statute. For an individual to receive penalties for a drug offense, the prosecutor must satisfy their legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If they cannot meet this high burden, your case may be subject to a complete dismissal.
However, if the state prosecutor can satisfy their legal burden, it will fall to a sentencing judge to determine the penalty or penalties to impose against you.
The penalties that a drug offender receives upon conviction will depend upon various factors, including whether or not the drug offense is a misdemeanor versus a felony and the amount of drugs the individual allegedly had in their possession.
Some of the most common penalties that a convicted drug offender in Ohio may receive include:
- Payment of high monetary fines
- Jail time
- Required drug and alcohol abuse treatment
In addition to these potential penalties upon conviction, you may look at various collateral consequences that can affect various aspects of your life. For example, a drug conviction on your record might make gaining admission to an educational program, such as a college or university, difficult.
Similarly, if you have a drug conviction on your record, you might have difficulty finding a place to live or finding and keeping a job. These difficulties usually arise when educational institutions, landlords, and prospective employers perform criminal background checks on applicants. They will likely deny the application if they uncover a drug conviction on the applicant’s record.
In addition, convicted drug offenders might experience significant harm to their reputation in the community, both personally and professionally.
If you ultimately sustain a conviction on your Akron drug charge, our legal team can represent you at your sentencing hearing and highlight why a judge should not impose significant penalties against you.
For example, depending on your circumstances, we can argue that you are a first-time offender or that you have never been subject to arrest before. By making these legal arguments, we can significantly reduce the penalty you ultimately receive. In addition, we can work to minimize or eliminate the collateral consequences you experience due to your criminal drug conviction.
Common Drug Offenses in Akron
Ohio recognizes several different drug offenses:
- Possessing a controlled substance, where an investigator or police officer finds an individual with marijuana or cocaine on their person or in their immediate reach area
- Possession of drug paraphernalia, where an individual possesses certain items that are related to drug use, including kits to prepare, produce, or grow a controlled substance, along with bowls, blenders, testing equipment, spoons, or scales to mix various compounds
- Possessing drug abuse instruments, where an individual possesses or owns an instrument to prepare a drug, use a drug, or administer a drug for some unlawful purpose
- Illegal possession or assembly of chemicals used to manufacture drugs, where an individual makes a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance or where they possess various chemicals that they may use to make an illegal drug
- Drug trafficking or aggravated drug trafficking, where an individual sells one or more controlled substances
- Illegally distributing or administering anabolic steroids, where a medical provider or someone else provides steroids illegally
- Illegally manufacturing drugs or cultivating methamphetamines or marijuana, where an individual produces methamphetamines or grows marijuana or some other controlled substance
- Criminal forfeiture of some type of property that relates to a felony drug abuse crime, where the government can lawfully take away certain types of property that it believes are related to criminal drug activity
If you face a criminal charge on one of these Ohio drug offenses, retain an experienced attorney to represent you in your case as quickly as possible.
The skilled Akron drug crime lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can review the circumstances of your pending criminal charge with you and determine your potential legal options for moving forward. We can develop a strong defense to raise at your criminal court trial or begin negotiating with the state prosecutor for a favorable plea deal on your behalf.
Our Akron, Ohio, Law Office is Prepared to Serve You
Raising a Defense to Your Criminal Drug Charge
Sometimes, we can raise a solid legal defense to your pending criminal drug charge. If that defense succeeds at trial, the court may dismiss your entire case.
A defense can work to negate one or more legal elements of the prosecution’s case. If the prosecutor cannot establish every element of the case, they may have no choice but to dismiss the pending charge.
Some of the most common legal defenses that an individual can raise in response to a criminal drug charge include:
- Lack of knowledge as to the drug’s presence, where an individual is unaware of a drug’s physical presence in a home or vehicle – especially one that does not belong to them
- Fourth Amendment violations, where a police officer comes across a drug as part of a traffic stop that they did not validly initiate, such as where the officer did not have the necessary reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull the vehicle over in the first place
- Fifth Amendment violations, where a police officer places an individual under arrest for a drug charge, the arrestee invokes their right to the presence of counsel during questioning, but the officer continues to question them
- Lack of ownership over (or possession of) a controlled substance
Our legal team can determine if you can raise one or more of these defenses at your criminal court trial. If you are, we can argue the appropriate defense and push for a complete dismissal of your drug case.
Negotiating a Favorable Plea Deal From the State Prosecutor Who is Handling Your Case
In some instances, instead of taking your criminal drug case to trial, we can negotiate a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor.
A prosecutor might offer a plea deal if they are not confident in securing a conviction against the accused person. The prosecutor may not have sufficient evidence to prove their case, and consequently, they may not want to take their case to a criminal bench or jury trial. In those circumstances, a prosecutor will more likely offer the accused person a favorable plea deal.
As part of a plea deal, the prosecutor will typically offer one or more concessions in exchange for the accused individual pleading guilty to a criminal offense. For example, if the accused agrees to plead guilty, the prosecutor might offer them a probation period.
This is especially true if the individual is a first-time drug offender. Alternatively, the prosecutor might be willing to reduce the drug crime from a felony to a misdemeanor, resulting in fewer potential penalties.
By agreeing to a plea deal, the accused always gives up certain rights, including their Sixth Amendment constitutional right to a trial by jury and their right of appeal.
They must also appear in court and put their plea deal on the record. As part of this process, the accused individual will tell the judge that they agree to accept the plea deal voluntarily and freely and that no one coerced them into accepting the deal. The presiding judge may then accept the plea deal on the record.
Our legal team can negotiate with state prosecutors on your behalf and pursue a plea deal that is favorable to you. We can also determine whether it is a good idea for you to accept a plea deal in your case, continue negotiating with the prosecutor for a better deal, or take your case to trial and raise a legal defense to your criminal drug charge.
What You Should Do After an Arrest on a Criminal Drug Charge
If a police officer arrests you on a criminal drug charge, you must refrain from answering questions until you have an attorney present with you. If you invoke your right to counsel upon arrest, the police officer continues questioning you, and you say something incriminating, the judge may suppress those statements at your trial.
In addition, following your arrest, keep copies of all pertinent documentation in your case – including any citation that a police officer might have issued to you – as well as your charging documents.
Finally, after your arrest, speak with an Akron drug crime attorney as quickly as possible. A lawyer needs ample time to meet with you to discuss your case, speak with witnesses, plan out potential defenses, and prepare your criminal case for trial.
If you retain a Akron criminal defense attorney too late in the process, they may not have time to adequately prepare your case. Therefore, speak with legal counsel immediately after your arrest.
Call an Akron Drug Crime Attorney Right Away
Once you retain the experienced legal team at Patituce & Associates, LLC, to represent you, we can enter an appearance on your behalf and begin advocating for your legal rights and interests.
Our team can immediately speak with you about your arrest circumstances and develop potential legal defenses for trial. We can also negotiate aggressively with the state prosecutor for a favorable plea deal.
Finally, we can represent you in all legal proceedings, including a post-conviction sentencing hearing, and argue for the best possible result in your case.
Patituce & Associates, LCC – Akron Office
520 S Main Street, Suite 2511
Akron, OH 44331