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.
Maryland Drug Law
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.
§ 5-601. POSSESSING OR ADMINISTERING CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE
It is illegal to possess, or attempt to possess through fraud or deceit, a controlled dangerous substance. If you are found guilty of this misdemeanor, you are subject to imprisonment no longer than 4 years and/or a fine no larger than $25,000. If that controlled substance is marijuana, then you may be imprisoned for no longer than 1 year and/or receive a fine of no more than $1,000. However, if that possession can be demonstrated as having been used due to medical necessity, then the court can only impose a fine no larger than $100. This defense can only be used if it can be shown that there was a debilitating medical condition diagnosed by a physician responsible for regular care, the condition is severe and does not respond to usual medicine, and marijuana can provide relief from the condition. This defense cannot be used if the marijuana was used in a public place or if more than 1 ounce was possessed.
§ 5-608. NARCOTIC DRUG PENALTIES
Anyone found violating this statute 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.
§ 5-617. DISTRIBUTING FAKE CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE
The Maryland state code 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.
§ 5-627. CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE NEAR SCHOOL
It is illegal to make, distribute, or intend to distribute a controlled dangerous substance in violation of § 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.
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.
Our attorneys handle drug cases, and all other matters of criminal defense, throughout the state of Maryland. They can help defend you against the charges you face, whether you live in Montgomery, Howard, Harford, Baltimore, Prince George’s, Frederick, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Dorchester, Charles, Cecil, Carroll, Caroline, Calvert, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Anne Arundel or Allegany Counties. Please contact us today for more information about the services we provide in your specific area.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
Our attorneys have a wealth of experience representing clients in Prince George’s, the county that borders Washington D.C. to the North East. That includes the University of Maryland, where the stakes a student faces in a criminal case can be very high. We can help fight the charges you face while also keeping in mind that your academic standing needs defending as well. If you are a student and you have been arrested and charged with a drug related offense, we will work tirelessly to make this charge has as little effect on your academic status as possible.
We also represent clients in any Bowie, College Park, District Heights, Glenarden, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Laurel, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Eagle Harbor, Edmonston Mount Rainier, Forest Heights, New Carrollton, Seat Pleasant, Berwyn Heights, Bladensburg, Brentwood, Capitol Heights, Cheverly, Fairmount Heights, Landover Hills, Morningside, North Brentwood, Riverdale Park, University Park or Upper Marlboro, so do not hesitate to contact us if you are facing a drug charge in any of these areas.
Rockville is one of the most populated areas of Montgomery County, and as a result, sees its fair share of drug related arrests and charges. Rockville is located near the District of Columbia border, and that can cause increased legal difficulties if a drug arrest involves crossing state lines into the Nation’s Capital. Our attorneys have experience with this type of arrest and can help you understand any charges that might be levied against you.
The city of Baltimore is one of the largest metropolitan areas on the East Coast, and as a result, has a major problem with drug related arrests. Our attorneys have experience practicing within City limits, in addition to handling cases outside of the City in the rest of Baltimore County. That includes towns like Ellicott City and universities like Towson and Goucher. Like the students at the University of Maryland, students as these schools and the other Universities that populate Baltimore County have more on the line when facing a drug charge than a person who could not be penalized by losing their ability to get an education. Take advantage of our free consultation to find out how our attorneys can help you.
Silver Spring sits just on the border of Washington D.C., and is just a quick trip down Georgia Avenue away from downtown. Silver Spring have a very popular and lively downtown section of its own, which might lead to some people getting into trouble while spending a weekend night out on the town. Don’t let a single mistake severely affect your life moving forward; call us today to find out how we may be able to help you.
If you are facing a drug related charge in Maryland, nobody expects you to have a total grasp on the situation, the specific charges you are facing, or the penalties that may be associated with a conviction. If you are facing a charge that could bring life-altering penalties, it can be a very confusing and frustrating time. Our attorneys will help you fight these charges while putting an emphasis on minimizing their impact on your life moving forward. Don’t just find a lawyer – retain an attorney that will keep your best interests in mind and treat you like the only client they have.
While the exact charges and penalties you face are dependent on a number of factors, and no two cases are ever exactly the same, our attorneys have experience in cases and trials similar to the one that is laid out before you. That experience allows them to consider every possible avenue for your defense and any obstacles that could prevent you from obtaining a positive result. Contact us today for a free consultation.
If you are facing drug related charges in Virginia, contact our Virginia drug lawyer.