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Sentencing for Possession of Multiple Drugs in Ohio

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What happens when someone gets charged possessing different drugs at the same time? Do they get sentenced for each different type of drug or sentenced just for possessing illegal drugs?

The Ohio Supreme Court has not addressed this exact issue as of 2017. Currently, Ohio lower courts are of the opinion that each drug gets sentenced separately and the offenses do not merge for sentencing. In other words, if a person gets arrested with cocaine in their left pocket and Vicodin pills in their right pocket (without a prescription), each of these drugs are classified differently and are penalized differently. The drug possession charges do not merge into a single offense for sentencing purposes according to many Ohio appellate courts.

However, this issue is ripe for appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court as Ohio has a statute the requires merger of felonies (R.C. 2941.25). It is the conduct of the offender that is to be penalized and the conduct is a single act when possessing 2 different illegal drugs. However, as of 2017, this issue remains open to debate.