If you've been charged with drug possession, look for an attorney who is prepared to litigate your case, not one that will automatically go for a plea deal with the prosecution for the minimum sentence possible. Otherwise, you could be trading your entire future stability for a quick end to your present problems. Here are a few things to consider.
Under Ohio law, possession of illegal drugs can net you a charge anywhere from a relatively minor fifth-degree felony to a much more serious first-degree felony. The type of the drug and the quantity involved generally determines the severity of the charge.
Prosecutors also often engage in a little bit of "overcharging," where they'll try to charge you with multiple offenses for the same crime or level the most serious charge that they can reasonably justify (even if they know it will be hard to prove in court) in an effort to scare you into taking a plea to a lesser charge. The tactic often works. If it works on you, the prosecution ends up with a win in their conviction column—while you end up with a lifetime record of a felony conviction.
Many people don't realize that a plea deal has the same effect on their lives as a guilty verdict in court—except that guilty verdicts can be appealed and overturned, while plea deals cannot. Even a fifth-degree felony doesn't seem "minor" when you are dealing with the serious, long-term consequences to your life.
If you choose an attorney who isn't prepared to litigate your case and goes straight for the plea deal, you miss out on the opportunity to have a clean record. That means that the felony conviction will haunt you in the future as you apply for jobs, look for housing and apply for credit. In addition, if you ever find yourself in trouble again, you could face stiffer penalties as a result of your previous drug conviction.
If you've been charged with the possession of illegal drugs, please check out our pages that explain our philosophy regarding the defense of drug charges.