Federal, State, and Local Penalties
Ohio law prohibits illicit selling, cultivating, manufacturing, or otherwise trafficking in controlled substances, including cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, and marijuana, knowingly or recklessly furnishing them to a minor, and administering them to any person by force, threat, or deception with the intent to cause serious harm. These offenses are felonies. The law also prohibits knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance and permitting drug abuse on one's premises or in one's vehicle. These offenses may be either felonies or misdemeanors. The law further prohibits obtaining, possessing, or using hypodermics for unlawful administration of drugs and the sale to juveniles of paraphernalia for use with marijuana. These offenses are misdemeanors.
Ohio law provides for mandatory fines, which must be at least $500, and possible imprisonment of any person who sells or furnishes beer or intoxicating liquor to an underage person or who buys beer or liquor for an underage person in violation of the law. Persons found knowingly to allow underage persons to possess and/or consume alcoholic beverages on their premises are guilty of a misdemeanor.
A felony conviction may lead to imprisonment or both imprisonment and fine. The maximum prison term is 25 years. A misdemeanor conviction may lead to imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine up to $1,000.
With regard to beer and intoxicating liquor, Ohio law provides that a person under 21 years of age who orders, pays for, attempts to purchase, possesses, or consumes beer or liquor, or furnishes false information to effect a purchase, commits a misdemeanor. Ohio law prohibits the possession of beer or liquor which was not lawfully purchased, and a court may order that any place where beer or liquor is unlawfully sold not be occupied for one year, or that the owner or occupant of the premises be required to furnish a surety bond of $1,000 to $5,000. Ohio law requires the mandatory suspension of an individual's license from six months to five years for violation of the Controlled Substance Act.
Federal law forbids the illegal possession of and trafficking in controlled substances. A person convicted for the first time of possessing a controlled substance, other than crack cocaine, may be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined between $1,000 and $100,000. A second conviction carries a prison term of up to two years and a fine of up to $250,000. Subsequent convictions carry prison terms of up to three years and fines of up to $250,000. Imprisonment for 5-20 years and fines of up to $250,000 apply to persons possessing more than five grams of crack cocaine on the first conviction, three grams on the second, and one gram on subsequent convictions. In addition to the above sanctions, a person convicted of possessing a controlled substance may be punished for forfeiture of property used to possess or facilitate possession, if the offense is punishable by more than one year in prison, forfeiture of any conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance, denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, for up to five years, ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm, and a civil penalty of up to $10,000.