Bethesda Drug Lawyer
Under Bethesda drug laws, individuals are prohibited from unlawfully possessing, distributing, or using any controlled dangerous substance. Any controlled dangerous substance that falls under one of the drug schedule lists can qualify as an illegal drug in Bethesda if it is possessed illegally.
An illegal drug could be unregulated heroin or cocaine purchased on the street, or it could be a prescription medication that someone is not supposed to have. If a doctor prescribes a controlled substance from one of the schedules for an ailment that they may have, they are then in lawful possession, so as long as it is not distributed or used unlawfully, there is no reason to fear prosecution. If facing charges in Bethesda, contact a distinguished lawyer today. Experienced Bethesda drug lawyers can help you build strong defenses to your charges.
- Drug Possession
- Drug Distribution
- Prescription Drugs
- Possession with Intent to Distribute
- Arrests and Cases
Possessing and using prescription drugs is permitted if a person has a prescription for the drug in question. Marijuana, despite being listed as a schedule 1 drug, is decriminalized in amounts under 10 grams. With the introduction of dispensaries, an individual will be able to purchase up to four ounces (equivalent to a quarter pound) of marijuana once per month. This will be considered a personal supply, which means that unlawful distribution charges could still come into play. Aside from those two examples, a person cannot possess any other prohibited substance from the controlled dangerous substance list.
Intimidation Factor When Facing Drug Charges
Drug charges are very intimidating in an area like Bethesda with very little criminal and drug activity because even people with no prior history with one drug charge might cause the community to perceive them as a drug addict. There is a stigma that exists, which is the root of the problem. Because Bethesda does not have the same epidemic of heroin or crack cocaine as other jurisdictions in Maryland do, drug cases tend to get treated more seriously across the board.
In these cases, the legality of the substances in question is typically not the issue. Some people forget that unlawful possession of certain substances is a very serious offense because they know many other individuals that use the same drugs by prescription, so they could become desensitized with the serious nature of it.
Drug Conspiracy Charges
Rarely does a person see just conspiracy to possess narcotics. Normally speaking, a person sees it in the felony range—conspiracy to possession with intent to distribute or conspiracy to distribute narcotics. An individual can call somebody who is being monitored by police and wiretapped, and they both decide they are going to get two pounds of marijuana to sell it.
An individual could go to buy drugs and get caught with it. Their co-conspirator could have never seen it, touched it, smelled it, and while they cannot be charged with possession because they had never had any actual control over it, they can be charged with intent because they did agree with somebody else to buy and to sell it.
Furthermore, an individual does not actually have to even have the substance on their person. Conspiracy is just an agreement. If two individuals get together and decide to buy narcotics to sell, get the money together, arrange it, get packaging materials, and get scales, they can be charged, arrested, and convicted of conspiracy for possessing to distribute or conspiracy to distribute just by virtue of what they have done even if they never had a single item of narcotic on them.
Different Levels of Penalties
The maximum penalty for marijuana is far less than any other controlled dangerous substance currently on one of the scheduled lists. Drug cases involving Adderall are similarly prosecuted with less aggression than cases involving drugs like crack cocaine and heroin.
How harshly drug cases are treated by the courts has more to do with how dangerous the use of the drug could be to the public. A student taking Adderall or Xanax is not the same as an addict who is regularly using heroin or crack cocaine because addiction is an illness, and drug addictions lead to other things like stealing, breaking and entering to get more drugs, etc. which is rarely seen with drugs like Adderall or Xanax.
Alternative Sentencing and Counseling
Drugs, in general, are being treated more as an addiction that a person needs assistance in curing as opposed to punishing an individual for a crime harshly without setting them up to recover and not repeat the same mistakes. There is also a strong push to lower the sentences and incarceration that people face for drug crimes because individuals who are charged often do need help, and could end up back in court and arrested because the incarceration period is not going to change their behavior.
Often times people cannot control or fix their addiction by themselves. When dealing with prescription medication, frequently, it is frighteningly common that individuals who abuse something that has been prescribed to them in the past because of an injury or an affliction and although the injury or affliction has subsided, they find themselves addicted to a prescription medication that they would never have taken had it not been for the prescription they received in the first place.
Local Drug Cases
Because Bethesda is fairly affluent, individuals have disposable income and they can afford prescription medications. Prescription medication is common as one of Bethesda’s basic possession charges.
Constitutional Issues in Bethesda Drug Cases
Drug possession, unlike other offenses, is not apparent at first. If somebody is drinking and driving, officers can smell alcohol in the breath, they see poor driving, or there could be an accident. If somebody gets into a fight, there are bruises and marks. Possession of drugs, however, have less outward indications. Majority of the time, there is a search of a person or property. The question becomes whether or not the search justified and legal. If not, an attorney can argue the search and it would not be used against the individual.
Working with a Bethesda Drug Attorney
Only a local attorney will know the ins and outs of how these cases are handled in the area, have established relations with prosecutors, and have the ability to truly address the issue at hand. A Bethesda attorney will take the time to listen to every detail of a case from the perspective of the client, take note of what they say, and try to give a thorough explanation of the process of the case. Some people do not understand what exactly they are dealing with, or how to give the attorney the information they need to do their job.
Part of the attorney’s job is to remove the intimidation surrounding the case and focus only on what can be done to mitigate penalties moving forward. In drug cases, because there is less drug activity than other parts of Maryland, a Bethesda drug lawyer will work to get on the same page as their client.