On September 13, 2016, Governor John Kasich signed into law S.B. 204 which eliminated mandatory drivers license suspensions in drug cases. More specifically, a drivers license suspension is now discretionary with the judge, and not mandatory, in drug cases not involving the operation of a vehicle.
This is a huge departure from prior law in Ohio where even a minor misdemeanor marijuana conviction (less than 100 grams) where the maximum penalty was $150.00 and no possibility of jail, carried with it a mandatory minimum six-month license suspension. Further, this was a mandatory minimum license suspension on all drug offenses, even when the offense did not involve the operation of a vehicle.
These mandatory license suspensions wreaked havoc on individual’s lives. No way to get to work, no way to take your child to school or baseball practice, no way to go to the grocery store or the bank. Undoubtedly major damage was done; jobs were lost, families unnecessarily stressed.
Now, lawyers should be educating trial courts on this important change in law, and asking for the court to exercise discretion in not imposing the license suspension when the drug offense did not involve the operation of a vehicle.
Further, anyone currently under a drivers license suspension for a drug offense not involving the operation of a vehicle can petition the trial court asking for the termination of the license suspension.
If you are currently under a drivers license suspension for a drug related offense, please contact me so I can evaluate your case for possible termination of the drivers license suspension. If you are currently facing drug charges of any kind, please contact me. You can reach me at (216) 736-8551, [email protected], www.ashleyjoneslaw.com