Simple marijuana possession is a minor misdemeanor in the state of Ohio, punishable by a maximum $150 fine. There is no possibility of jail time, and thus no right to a court appointed attorney. Many individuals choose not to contest the charges and to simply pay the fine and move on. There are however some additional factors to consider before you choose this route. A conviction for marijuana possession or possession of marijuana paraphernalia carries with it a mandatory six month driver’s license suspension as well preventing those convicted from ever receiving federal student aid for college. To many these consequences are quite serious. They could preclude you from being financially able to attend college in the future or greatly increase the cost of that education through higher private interest rates. A driver’s license suspension could cost you your job, or if work privileges are allowed prevent you from doing seemingly mundane things like grocery shopping or picking your kids up from school.
This is why I believe it’s a good idea to hire an attorney to represent you if you are cited for marijuana possession. There are various defense strategies available, including suppression of evidence if it was obtained in an unlawful search as well as the possibility of intervention or diversion programs to save you from having a conviction on your record. In my experience prosecutors are often willing to work with defendants in these cases, and I’ve been able to get clients results they could live with. If you have any questions about an arrest for marijuana or paraphernalia possession please give me a call. I’d be happy to talk it over with you.