In Ohio, over 20,000 drug possession arrests are made each year for marijuana alone, according to FreshWaterCleveland.com. If you ever find yourself booked on a drug charge, you might also find yourself panicking at the thought of losing custody of your children.
According to a study published by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a felony conviction by itself is usually not considered grounds to remove children from their biological parents. Since most simple drug possession charges do not amount to more than a misdemeanor, you might rest assured that one brush with the law probably will not break up your peaceful family home.
However, the situation is trickier if this is a repeat offense, or if you have documented addiction issues. Chronic substance abuse is grounds for divorce in Ohio. While criminal convictions alone rarely terminate parental rights, each instance of arrest might be used against you by your spouse when determining custody of your children.
Furthermore, if you are already in a joint custody arrangement with your former spouse, a drug possession charge might lead to suspicion that your substance use is impairing your ability to care for your children. If your ex has reasonable anxiety that the kids are not safe in your care, it could justify refusal of visitation, and the courts could amend your custody agreement to limit your contact with them.
Lastly, if you are the guardian of a child that is not yours by birth, such as in foster care, you must report any conviction of a drug-related crime. In Ohio, an illicit substance charge other than a minor drug possession offense could remove you from the foster care system.