What is Drug Trafficking under Ohio Drug Laws?


Controlled substances include lawfully prescribed drugs as well as illegal drugs. Possession with intent to sell or offering to sell is drug trafficking. Depending upon the type of drug or substance, the offense may be upgraded to aggravated drug trafficking in Ohio.

The word "sale" is broadly defined in Ohio. Sale is currently defined under the Ohio Revised Code as "delivery, barter, exchange, transfer, or gift." To be prosecuted for drug trafficking in Ohio, the State of Ohio is not required to prove that an actual sale existed or that a drug existed. An aborted sale is classified as drug trafficking in Ohio. A person can be successfully prosecuting for drug trafficking in Ohio if they were simply a link in the chain of supply.

Under Ohio law, if an indictment alleges that the defendant sold or offered to sell a bulk amount or a multiple of a bulk amount, the State must prove the quantity alleged. Penalties are enhanced based upon identity of the drug and the amount of drug involved. However, Ohio law does not require the State to prove the exact amount provided it proves the minimum threshold alleged in the indictment.

Trafficking in the vicinity of a school or juvenile automatically bumps the felony up one degree. In "school trafficking cases", the the State must prove is open, operating, or providing instruction, training, or extracurricular activities. This enhancement applies to activity conducted inside private property within the vicinity of a school. A defendant cannot claim they "did not know" a school was nearby. This is known as a strict liability sentencing factor.