What to Do If You Are Accused of Fentanyl Possession in Ohio
Fentanyl came about in the 1960s, making it one of the newer-approved opioids in the United States. After its emergence, doctors and physicians began prescribing this drug more and more often, and about a decade ago, fentanyl became one of the most used drugs in medicine and healthcare.
This led to fentanyl playing a major role in the current opioid crisis in America. As a result, police officers are increasingly enforcing controlled substance abuse laws when they find people who possess fentanyl. A Columbus drug crimes attorney from Soroka & Associates can help you fight drug crimes charges.
What exactly is fentanyl?
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl is an opioid approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used as a pain reliever or anesthesia medicine. Once fentanyl enters the body, it begins working very quickly and lasts for about two hours. This drug is considered to be one of the most powerful opioids to exist today. In fact, the DEA states that it is “100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.”
Some of fentanyl’s common street names include:
- Murder 8
- Dance Fever
- King Ivory
- Great Bear
What is Ohio’s punishment for fentanyl possession?
Ohio’s punishment for fentanyl is usually determined by the amount in possession. In Ohio, fentanyl is considered a Schedule II substance, which means that people are allowed to legally possess it in limited amounts while under the care of a healthcare provider.
If an individual does not have a prescription for fentanyl, they may face criminal penalties depending on how much they possess. Most consequences include paying a fine and serving jail time. The average amount of time that people spend in prison for possessing fentanyl is between one to 11 years, and the fines can range from $2,000 to $20,000. Overall, the greater the weight, the more severe the punishment.
How is fentanyl being misused?
Prescription fentanyl can be misused in a variety of ways. It can be snorted, smoked, injected, or taken by mouth in the form of a pill. Some people who have been prescribed a fentanyl patch may ingest or inject the gel-like material. In addition, it can be sold to mix with other drugs to give similar effects as pharmaceutical drugs such as oxycodone.
This misuse of fentanyl has led to a high rate of overdoses in Ohio, as many people are unaware that it is being combined with other substances, making it one of the most dangerous drugs our state has ever seen.
A Columbus drug possession attorney can help you
Regardless of the negative effects of fentanyl, some people need a prescription to help them manage their pain from cancer, a severe injury, or even an operation. No matter the reason for your possession charge, a Columbus drug possession defense lawyer from Soroka & Associates will fight for your rights and ensure that we get the best outcome possible.
In order to successfully do this, we will meet with you to learn about your experience, review the facts of your case, look over the police report, and begin collecting evidence. After we have completed these steps, the next step will be to develop possible defenses against your possession charge. There are a few different ways that we can do this, but the most common defenses that we will most likely consider using include:
- Your Fourth Amendment rights were violated: The Fourth Amendment gives people the right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.” This means that if a search and seizure is not legal, it violates your Fourth Amendment. Therefore, if police officers discover the substance during an illegal search and seizure, it cannot be used as evidence, which means there is no case.
- You were entrapped: When police officers get an individual to commit a crime that they typically would not commit, this is referred to as entrapment. If we can prove that entrapment is what happened in your case, you may be found not guilty.
- To determine if entrapment actually happened, the court will decide if the police officers’ actions caused you to commit a crime. They will also decide if they think that you would have committed the crime regardless of if the police were there or not.
- The drugs did not belong to you: The law in Ohio believes that just because an individual was found with a controlled substance on their person or property does not mean that they are in illegal possession of drugs. Therefore, our attorneys can make the argument that you did not own the drug or even know about it.
- Your controlled substance was prescribed: According to Ohio’s statute, if you obtain a “controlled substance pursuant to a prescription by a licensed health professional authorized to prescribe drugs and the prescription was issued for a legitimate medical purpose,” you are allowed to possess the controlled substance.
- The substance was planted: We may choose to argue that the substance found was planted. If we do this, there will most likely be an investigation to determine if the drugs were planted or not. This may require evidence to prove.
Our attorneys at Soroka & Associates know that it is easy to give up and become discouraged after being arrested. However, we firmly believe that you are 100% innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, it is important to remember that you have the right to contest your charges and fight for the best results possible. Call our office in Columbus or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment today.