Section 2925.04 of Ohio’s Revised Code criminalizes the cultivation and manufacturing of controlled substances. Meth (i.e., methamphetamine) is a controlled substance. Thus, manufacturing meth is a crime punishable by a lengthy prison sentence.
Dayton, Ohio treats meth manufacturers harshly. This harsh treatment is due, in part, because of meth-related deaths. Overdoses caused by meth tripled between 2015 and 2019. To combat the brutal reality that meth manufacturers inflict on others, manufacturing it is a second-degree felony. It escalates into a first-degree felony if the defendant manufactures it near minors or on school grounds.
Ohio Meth Manufacturing Lawyer
Being accused of meth manufacturing in Florida can be a distressing experience. The qualified drug manufacturing defense lawyers of Joslyn Law Firm have years of experience in criminal law that we put to work when fighting for your rights. Our qualified attorneys have tried hundreds of drug offense cases and are prepared to take yours.
The Joslyn Law Firm accepts drug cases all throughout the State of Ohio including communities such as Troy, Fairborn, Beavercreek, Huber Heights, and Piqua. Call (937) 356-3969 to schedule a free consultation with Joslyn Law Firm today.
Defendants a jury finds guilty of manufacturing meth will face mandatory prison sentences. The court will impose a mandatory three-year minimum for a second-degree meth manufacturing felony. However, the judge has the option to sentence the defendant to eight years and order them to pay a fine of $15,000. The court will impose a mandatory four-year minimum for a first-degree felony, which carries a punishment of up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. If this is the defendant’s second meth offense, whether second or first degree, the mandatory minimum sentence increases to five years.
There are other significant penalties for manufacturing a controlled substance. Defendants are at risk of:
- Seizure of the felon’s home, personal property, and real property
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation
- Child custody risk
- Loss of employment
- Employment restrictions
- Loss of certain job certifications and licenses
- Ruined reputation
In the United States, a suspect is innocent until proven guilty. Thus, suspects must be able to defend themselves against criminal charges. Although not every defense applies to every suspect’s unique circumstances, here are commonly used defenses to allegations of meth manufacturing. When the defendant seeks an acquittal or dismissal, their meth manufacturing lawyers should tackle the elements. A crime’s elements are what prosecutors must prove to uphold charges and convict the defendant.
Lack Of Knowledge
In this case, the defendant must knowingly cultivate the controlled substance and know that the cultivated product is a controlled substance. Therefore, the defendant can create reasonable doubt by arguing lack of knowledge.
Abandoned, Renting, Or Subleasing Property
If the defendant did not have custody and control over their home, that might be a defense to this allegation. Suppose the defendant had abandoned his property, and drug manufacturers took over it, maintaining a meth lab. The prior homeowner had no knowledge or involvement in the manufacturers’ dealings. Thus, the defendant lacked the knowledge required to be guilty of this offense. Suppose the defendant rented or subleased the property, such as for an Air BnB. If the renters or subleasees used this property to manufacture a controlled substance, this is a viable defense to get the charges dropped against the homeowner if the crime went on without the homeowner’s knowledge.
Lack Of Warrant
The police need a warrant to search an individual’s property. The U.S. Constitution maintains that every individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their home, so they should be free from warrantless searches and seizures where they sleep. The police need probable cause to obtain a warrant. Probable cause must be more than a mere hunch and more than reasonable suspicion.
Officers have probable cause when a reasonable person similarly situated as the officer would come to the same conclusion given the totality of circumstances.
Unless the evidence of meth manufacturing was in plain view or the defendant gave the officers consent to search without a warrant, the defendant may raise the lack of warrant as a defense. Under this premise, any evidence the police seized unlawfully must be suppressed in court. Thus, this defense may serve to get the case dismissed.
There are two exceptions to the warrant requirement significant to this offense. They are open field and prevention of evidence destruction. If either applies to the specific defendant, the officers’ lack of warrant may prove irrelevant. Therefore, the court may admit the evidence into trial.
The open field exception states that defendants cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding an open field on or near their property. An open field near the house doesn’t provide the same expectation of privacy as inside the residence. A residence has locked doors, windows, a roof, and other safeguards preventing passersby from seeing inside. On the contrary, an open field is easily viewable and accessible by passersby, including strangers. Therefore, if the suspect is manufacturing methamphetamine in an open field, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy, so a warrant isn’t needed.
Likewise, the law permits Dayton, Ohio officers to seize evidence they believe is at imminent risk of being destroyed. Criminal cases run on evidence. Without sufficient evidence, such as the controlled substance, prosecutors will not have any merit in trying to uphold criminal charges. Therefore, the police may enter the suspect’s home in exigent, meaning emergency, circumstances to confiscate the evidence. For example, suppose the police had a home under surveillance to gather enough information to support a warrant. While doing so, they overhear through wiretap that the suspects are onto the police watching them and plan to set the meth lab on fire. In this case, a judge is likely to agree that the police didn’t have time to secure a warrant before entering the premises.
Ethan Crossing Addiction Treatment – This Ohio website provides substance use treatment services for drug addiction.
2022’s Top Rehab Centers & 15 Free Options – This Ohio website lists substance use rehabilitation centers in and near Dayton, Ohio.
Ohio Meth Manufacturing Attorney | Joslyn Law Firm
If you have been charged with meth manufacturing, you need to act quickly to mount a strong defense. Drug manufacturing cases are often extremely complicated and they should be handled with the help of an experienced defense lawyer in Ohio.
Joslyn Law Firm is devoted to protecting the rights of clients. Our attorneys will fight to get the best possible outcome in your case. If you reside in Dayton, Xenia, Kettering, New Carlisle, or Springfield, call (937) 356-3969 to secure a free consultation as soon as possible.