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New Ohio Drug and Criminal Laws Effective 10/31/18

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Ohio SB1: Increased Penalties for Drug Trafficking-Related Crimes

Ohio SB1 increases penalties for drug trafficking, drug possession, and aggravated funding of drug trafficking when the drug involved in the offense is a fentanyl-related compound. The bill also revises the manner of determining sentence for certain violations of the offense of permitting drug abuse and adds lisdexamfetamine to the list of schedule II controlled substances.

Ohio SB66: Modification of Criminal Sentencing and Corrections Law

Ohio SB66 modifies criminal sentencing and corrections law by including rehabilitation as a purpose of felony sentencing and removes the one-year minimum for presumptive fourth or fifth degree felony community control sanctions. The bill also modifies sanctions for a violation of a community control condition and the manner of calculating confinement credits. The bill modifies the eligibility criteria and procedure for participation in intervention in lieu of conviction and allows offenders convicted of certain multiple fourth or fifth degree felonies eligibility for conviction record sealing.

Ohio HB95: Enhanced Penalties for Distracted Drivers

Ohio HB95 establishes an enhanced penalty for committing a moving violation while distracted if the distraction is a contributing factor of the violation. Interestingly, the Department of Public Safety has made an online course available for people ticketed for distracted driving. Under the new law, a driver can be fined an additional $100 if the moving violation that led to the ticket was a result of distracted driving. Instead of paying the additional $100, a distracted driver may elect to attend a distracted driving safety course. Upon successful completion of the course, written confirmation can be submitted to the court along with payment for any other fines imposed, and the additional $100 fine will be waived. The course can be located on the BMV website.

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