Were you arrested and charged with a drug offense? The situation can be scary. You probably feel helpless, and you may wonder if you have let your family down. It may be tempting to plead guilty and get the ordeal over with as quickly as possible. However, that would likely be a mistake. Do not let one misstep have a negative effect on the rest of your life. 

In Ohio, a drug conviction may result in serious consequences. If convicted of a drug-related crime, you may face fines and a prison sentence ranging from six months to 11 years. Remember, there is hope; not all charges result in convictions. If you are facing drug charges, here are some things you should know. 

Your situation 

Not all drug crimes carry equal penalties. There is a big difference between possession and trafficking, for example. Find out the exact counts and charges against you. 

Your rights 

During your arrest and questioning, the police should have read you the Miranda warning. This means the officers let you know that you have the right to remain silent rather than giving answers that may incriminate you. You also have the right to an attorney. Knowing that someone is advocating for you can make a world of difference as you navigate the legal process. 

What happens next 

Law enforcement agents will likely continue their investigation. In attempts to gather evidence, they may want to search your property, for which they must obtain a warrant. They may also question your friends and family. 

The future 

Sometimes courts dismiss charges completely. Perhaps officers gathered evidence without following proper procedures, or they have you mixed up with someone else. Even if charges are not dismissed, you may be able to negotiate lesser charges, such as reducing a felony charge down to a misdemeanor. A felony conviction on your record can potentially impact your future employment prospects. It may also affect your housing situation and reputation in the community.