Those of us who regularly travel the Ohio Turnpike have noticed increased enforcement along I-80 in Summit County.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol has been increasing traffic enforcement along Interstate 80 in Summit County. This has included increased patrols and assistance from airplanes in apprehending speeders and reckless drivers.
However, as recent busts by the Patrol have shown, Troopers are also attempting to intercept drug shipments through Ohio. These shipments include everything from heroin and cocaine to marijuana and prescriptions pills. Often times, Troopers are seen searching through automobiles and trucks on the side of the Turnpike -- hoping to get yet another bust.
When Troopers seize drugs, they often times also seize automobiles, cash and arrest all of the occupants of the vehicle -- even those passengers or drivers that might not know drugs were in the vehicle.
Those occupants -- whether drivers or passengers -- are often brought before either the Stow Municipal Court or Akron Municipal Court, where they are charged and their initial bonds are set. Their cases, if felonies, will then be forwarded to the Summit County Grand Jury and proceed through the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
If the vehicle is stopped in a neighboring county, such as Portage or Cuyahoga, the charges will proceed through the Municipal Court and/or Common Pleas Court in that jurisdiction.
The total process, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, will have long-lasting implication on all involved -- including the defendants, their spouses and their families. The penalties can include prison or jail time; fines; community control (probation); community service; drug testing and/or treatment; and/or forfeiture of any property seized by troopers/officers, including the automobile/truck and any cash linked to drug transactions.
If you or a loved on has been charged with an offense on the Ohio Turnpike, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. Hudson-based Attorney Adam VanHo can be reached at 330-653-8511.