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Maryland Drug Lawyer
If you’ve been accused of a drug-related crime in Maryland, your charge can trigger many uncomfortable questions. How will this change your life? What will your family and friends think? Will you lose your job and perhaps be unable to find another job in the future? Will you be able to afford the fines that you might need to pay? Will you spend time behind bars? The best way to learn more is to contact a Maryland drug lawyer with any questions you may have.
The good news is that a drug charge does not equal a drug conviction. Whether you are being accused of a misdemeanor or a felony, with the help of an experienced Maryland drug attorney, you can fight the charges and maximize your probability of receiving a favorable outcome on the date of your trial. Even when the evidence against you is overwhelming, a qualified Maryland drug lawyer will assist you in working to reduce your penalties to the minimum allowable by the state, reducing the resulting impact on your life and livelihood. Contact The Law Office of Edward Tayter now for a free consultation.
- Criminal Defense for Drug Possession
- Criminal Defense for Drug Cultivation, Manufacture, and/or Sale
Depending on the unique facts of each case, drug related offenses in the State of Maryland can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. The circumstances that dictate how a violation will be charged are numerous, but they include: the type of drug in question, how much of that drug the person who was arrested has in their possession, and that person’s perceived intentions with the drug prior to the arrest. They can also be enhanced by other specifics, such as whether or not the illegal substance was transported across state lines. In terms of punishment, the State’s prosecutors will also consider any prior criminal activity when deciding which penalty to pursue. Below is a brief breakdown of some of the statutes that Maryland uses to regulate the use and possession of illegal narcotics in the state, and how those statutes may affect those who live there.
Criminal Defense for Drug Possession
Drug possession and drug paraphernalia possession charges are covered by Maryland state code Section 5-601. According to this code, it is a criminal offense to be in possession of controlled substances such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and MDMA. State code Section 5-601(c)(1) classifies these types of drug possession crimes as misdemeanors. The penalties associated with this type of misdemeanor conviction can include an incarceration term of up to four years along with a maximum of $25,000 in fines. For a full explanation of the penalties in Maryland and your local city and county, contact a local drug attorney in Maryland. Drug paraphernalia can include syringes, and other devices used to ingest or otherwise consume drugs (see image to the right).
Penalties for Possession of Schedule I or II Drugs
Anyone found violating Section 5-608 concerning a Schedule I or II narcotic drug is guilty of a felony and can receive a prison sentence up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $25,000. If someone is found to have violated this statute for a second time, the minimum potential prison term is 10 years and the possible fine is increased to up to $100,000. The sentence cannot be suspended, and the individual will not be considered for parole during this mandatory period. A third time violation carries a mandatory prison term of 25 years, and the same fine of up to $100,000 if that person has spent 180 days in jail for one of these violations.
The penalties associated with marijuana possession have recently changed with the passage of Senate Bill 364 and, as of Oct. 1, 2014, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is now considered a civil offense and may result in a fine of no more than $100 for a first offense. Those who are convicted on a second or third charge face up to a $500 fine. Possession of drug paraphernalia related to marijuana use, however, remains a criminal offense. Those who are caught with less than 10 grams of pot and who are under the age of 20 will face not only a civil fine but will also have to attend a drug education or treatment program. It is also important that we note that federal law still views possession of marijuana, no matter how little the amount, to be a criminal offense. Those who possess more than 10 grams of marijuana, even for medical use, still face misdemeanor criminal charges in Maryland. You can read the full text of the senate bill here.
The fines for repeat drug offenders, including those only convicted of misdemeanor penalties, can be more severe. Even first-time offenders can face penalties beyond incarceration and fines, including probation, limiting driving restrictions, community service and mandatory rehabilitation programs. With the help of an experienced Maryland drug lawyer, you can fight all of these charges, minimize the penalties associated with a conviction, or even have your case thrown out entirely on the basis of illegitimate police work, such as entering your residency without a warrant or probable cause.
Criminal Defense for Drug Cultivation, Manufacture, and/or Sale
Maryland state code Section 5-602 makes it a criminal offense to manufacture, distribute, or possess with an intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, such as cocaine, crystal meth, heroin or marijuana. Further, state code Section 5-603 makes it illegal to possess a piece of equipment designed to produce or otherwise manufacture a controlled dangerous substance. While these charges are more serious than simple possession charges and typically result in a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor, a qualified Maryland drug lawyer with a strong track record can examine the details of your case and argue against the notion that you intended to distribute the substance(s), as opposed to keeping them for your own personal use.
Individuals convicted of violating codes Section 5-602 or Section 5-603 are guilty of a felony according to Maryland law and can be imprisoned for up to 5 years and forced to pay a fine of up to $15,000. This is covered by state code Section 5-607, which also states that repeat offenders will face a prison sentence of no less than two years with zero chance of parole.
State code Section 5-608 pertains to penalties for narcotic drug distribution in particular, which results in a felony along with a prison term of up to 20 years along with a fine of up to $25,000. Repeat offenders found guilty of this type of crime face no less than 10 years of prison along with a fine of up to $100,000, according to state code Section 5-608(b)(1). Additional codes under section Section 5-608 deal with third-time offenders (no less than 25 years in prison) and fourth-time offenders (no less than 40 years in prison).
Needless to say, the penalties associated with drug manufacture and distribution offenders in Maryland are extremely severe, particularly for repeat offenders. With the help of a knowledgeable, experienced Maryland drug defense lawyer who will look into every single detail of your case in building a strong legal defense, you can reduce these penalties in case of a conviction or even escape conviction entirely depending on the specifics of your charges and the circumstances of the alleged offense.
Distribution of Fake Controlled Substances
The Maryland state code Section 5-617 also has very strict laws that punish those who have distributed or intend to distribute noncontrolled substances represented to be controlled substances. It is illegal to attempt to possess with intent to ]distribute, or to actually succeed in distributing a noncontrolled substance that is represented as a controlled dangerous substance, that is intended for use and distribution as a controlled dangerous substance, or that would reasonably be believed to be used as a controlled dangerous substance. Violating this section results in a felony conviction and imprisonment for no longer than five years and/or a fine no larger than $15,000. In determining a violation, the packaging, amount, and appearance of the substances can all be considered.
Drugs Near Schools in Maryland
Under 5-627, it is illegal to make, distribute, or intend to distribute a controlled dangerous substance in violation of Section 5-602 or conspire to commit these crimes in a school vehicle or within 1,000 feet of real property owned/leased by a grade school or board used for a grade school. Violation of this section results in imprisonment no longer than 20 years and/or a fine no larger than $20,000 for the first violation, and for each subsequent violation, imprisonment for no less than five years (not suspended and not eligible for parole) and no longer than 40 years and/or a fine no larger than $40,000.
The Value of Maryland Drug Lawyer
These represent just some of the statutes that govern drug use and distribution in the state of Maryland. You can find more information by speaking to an attorney and getting a better understanding of what is and is not allowed by the State.
The state of Maryland has a number of different laws that control possession and distribution of illegal narcotics, and they vary greatly depending on the type and quantity of the drug in question. If you have been formally charged, or if you are the center of an ongoing investigation that revolves around drug possession or distribution, please contact our Maryland drug lawyers as soon as possible to organize a strong defense strategy on your behalf. The penalties for a drug related arrest can be serious, sometimes resulting in extended jail time. You deserve representation from an attorney who will work hard to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.
We also offer defenses against other criminal offenses, and more information can be found by visiting the following page.