Cleveland Drug Crimes Lawyer

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Drug Crimes

If you or a family member has been arrested for drug-related criminal offenses, you need to speak with a Cleveland drug crimes lawyer right away. It is vital to know and understand your rights after any arrest for any crime. Any mistakes in the early stages of building your defense can have disastrous consequences, so it is vital that you reach out to a trustworthy, experienced attorney at your first opportunity after arrest and booking.

Drug crime convictions often involve harsh penalties, with lengthy jail or prison terms, hefty fines, and stringent probation requirements. Drug crimes can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances involved, and whether the drug crime qualifies as a misdemeanor or a felony can have a significant impact of the penalties that could be imposed. Accordingly, it is imperative to consult with a skilled Ohio drug crime attorney like Matthew Bangerter who can advocate on your behalf to seek the dismissal of the charges, a favorable plea bargain, a not guilty verdict, or a favorable sentence.

If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to act swiftly to protect your rights and begin launching a defense strategy. Do not hesitate to contact Northeast Ohio drug crime attorney Matthew Bangerter to discuss your drug crime charge.

Drug Crimes Charges

Northeast Ohio drug crime attorney Matthew Bangerter represents clients facing a wide variety of drug charges, including:

  • Drug possession. It is illegal for anyone to possess certain illicit substances. Even a small amount intended for personal use can lead to severe penalties if you are convicted of possession. The severity of a possession charge typically depends on the type of substance and the quantity the defendant had on their person when they were arrested.
  • Drug cultivation and manufacturing. Growing cannabis or manufacturing any synthetic drugs is a serious crime, and it is possible for this type of case to lead to severe charges for every party involved. Penalties for drug cultivation can vary based on the type of drug, the quantity of illegal drugs seized by arresting officers, and the overall extent of the operation.
  • Drug trafficking. The term “trafficking” generally applies to carrying illegal drugs across county lines for the purposes of sale and/or distribution. However, the state applies this term more broadly, encompassing what many other states define as possession with intent to sell. This means an individual could be charged with drug trafficking just for providing drugs to another person.
  • Drug sales and distribution. The unlawful sale of illicit substances can lead to severe penalties. It is possible for these offenses to qualify as misdemeanors or felonies based on the type and quantity of the drug.
  • Pharmaceutical drug sales. It is unlawful to possess or sell pharmaceuticals that are only legal to possess with a valid prescription. Illegally obtained pharmaceuticals can form the basis for a serious drug crime case, even if those drugs are legal to possess with a prescription.
  • Medical professional criminal drug charges. Medical professionals who fill out fraudulent prescriptions or knowingly enable illegal pharmaceutical sales can not only face criminal prosecution but also the loss of their professional licenses and other serious penalties.
  • Federal drug charges. Drug crime cases can escalate to the federal level if any federal law enforcement agency becomes involved, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Prosecution in federal court is very different from prosecution at the state level and the defendant faces much harsher penalties if they are convicted.
  • Misdemeanor drug charges. Many drug offenses in Cleveland are prosecuted at the misdemeanor level. While less severe than felony offenses, misdemeanors can still lead to severe penalties, including fines, jail time, and more. It is vital to have experienced defense counsel on your side if you have been charged with any misdemeanor drug offense in Cleveland.

It is vital for a defendant to remember that in any criminal case, it is possible for them to face multiple charges based on the extent of the police’s investigation and their behavior during arrest and booking. It is possible for you to have been wrongfully charged with a drug crime you did not commit, or you may have a substance abuse disorder. Whatever your situation entails, it is vital to connect with a trustworthy Cleveland drug crimes lawyer with your defense.

Penalties For Drug Crimes In Ohio

Drug offenses carry significant penalties, including long prison terms, hefty fines and other lifelong consequences, and it is important to promptly retain experienced legal representation. In Ohio, even a misdemeanor drug conviction can have significant consequences since drug penalties include a mandatory driver’s license suspension of up to three years. Not only does a drug conviction result in jail or prison terms and hefty fines, but it also causes serious damage to your reputation and can prevent you from obtaining federal grants and student loans.

Penalties for most drug-related criminal offenses in the state will vary based on the type of drug, the quantity the defendant had in their possession, the defendant’s prior arrest record, and any other aggravating or mitigating factors present in the case. Aggravating factors work against the defendant and encourage harsher penalties while mitigating factors work in the defendant’s favor and sometimes encourage leniency from sentencing judges.

For example, if you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs, and a search of your vehicle reveals not only a stash of illegal drugs but also an unregistered firearm. You could not only be prosecuted for DUI but also for drug possession and a weapons violation. This could escalate the severity of your penalties dramatically, even if you did not hurt anyone.

Cleveland drug offense attorney Matthew Bangerter will work to protect your legal rights, explore all possible defense strategies, and work with the prosecution on a possible plea bargain to minimize the adverse consequences of any penalties you may face. The Fortress Law Group has years of experience defending clients from all types of drug charges, and we have successfully resolved many complex cases on behalf of clients in Cleveland.

Protecting Your Rights

Drug cases rely heavily on evidence to support the allegations and sometimes the evidence is obtained in violation of a person’s constitutional rights. Northeast Ohio criminal defense attorney Matthew Bangerter understands the importance of the protection of constitutional rights and will investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and any evidence collection to ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld.

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects you against self-incrimination. You are not required to act as a witness against yourself, so you are not legally obligated to answer any questions from arresting police officers. Do not assume that remaining silent makes you look guilty; simply remember that anything you say can potentially be taken out of context and used against you.

The Sixth Amendment ensures your right to legal counsel when you are accused of a crime. You have the right to an attorney, and you must take full advantage of this right to ensure the greatest chance of reaching a positive outcome for your case. Your Cleveland drug crimes lawyer can examine the circumstances of your arrest and booking to ensure the arrest was lawful and that your rights were respected by arresting officers.

Defending Yourself Against Drug Charges

In every criminal case, the prosecution faces the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard of proof that they will attempt to meet by leveraging various forms of evidence and witness testimony against you. It is the job of your defense attorney to prevent them from meeting this burden of proof. You may have more defenses available to you than you initially realize.

It is possible for a defendant to avoid conviction for a drug-related offense by leveraging exculpatory evidence and highlighting inconsistencies with the prosecution’s case. They may also need to highlight procedural violations from the police, chain of custody violations with the evidence brought forth against them, or they may need to prove that their rights have been violated in some way.

If you did commit the crime and the prosecution has all the evidence they need to secure a conviction, your situation may not be as hopeless as it may appear. Your defense attorney may attempt to plea bargain for you, securing lighter penalties, reduced charges, and/or a suspended sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. For some defendants, plea bargaining is their most viable option for mitigating the penalties they face in a drug crime case.

When you choose the Fortress Law Group to represent you in a drug crime case, you can expect compassionate and respectful interactions with our team, responsive communication, and results-driven legal counsel through every phase of your case. Our goal is to help you avoid conviction if at all possible or mitigate your penalties if sentencing is unavoidable.


Q: What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Cleveland?

A: The penalties for drug possession in Cleveland can include fines, jail time, loss of your driver’s license, probation, and mandatory substance abuse treatment. The severity of your penalties will depend on the specific details of your case, such as the type of drug you had in your possession, the quantity, and whether the prosecution has evidence to show you intended to sell or distribute the drugs.

Q: What Is the Most Serious Drug Charge?

Q: How Can I Avoid Jail Time for a Drug Charge in Cleveland?

Q: Why Should I Hire a Cleveland Drug Crimes Lawyer?

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Cleveland Drug Crimes Lawyer?

Consult With An Experienced Drug Offense Attorney Immediately

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Ohio, it is important that you consult with an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that your rights can be protected, and a defense strategy can be launched. Ohio criminal defense attorney Matthew Bangerter has considerable experience defending clients facing felony and misdemeanor drug charges. If you are facing drug charges, do not hesitate to contact Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew Bangerter to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how he can help you with your drug charges.