Maryland Drug Charges
In Maryland, there are a wide variety of drug charges that someone can face, however, the two primary ones are possession and possession with intent to distribute. If a person has a lot of a certain drug or there is an indication that they might have been giving it while they are selling it. A person occasionally will be charged with distribution, albeit that is not as common because usually people are not caught selling the illegal substances, they are just caught with a large amount. If someone has been accused of Maryland drug charges, it is imperative that they meet with an experienced drug lawyer as soon as they can.
Expected Outcomes of Drug Offense
Depending on the nature of an illegal substance, the history of the individual, how much of a substance is found, and what the substance is, a person can be either given a citation and let go or arrested and then made to go before a commissioner, or a judge, to try to get released while they are waiting for their case to get to the courts.
Typically somebody is charged by one of the different charging parties. The police officer can charge an individual, or a prosecutor can file in the courts to charge somebody. Generally, the police officer serves them or sends them the charge through the mail.
Once the individual has been served or if it is just a summons, it will show up in the system as a pending case but once the person is officially served, that is when the court dates are going to be set and depending on the nature of the charge, it will dictate what kind of proceeding, how many court dates, and in which court it is going to be.
Obtaining a Charge
The short term consequences of a Maryland drug charge can have many repercussions that make life very challenging. Since the case will initially be pending, it will be open to the public, meaning it is public record, and anyone and everyone can see the fact that they are being charged criminally, whether it is a prospective employer, or a school, family. Even someone who applies for a housing or a residence can have problems if they see a potential criminal charge on their record.
Although there are many short term consequences, once the case gets closed and they are either convicted or they are not. It is only a consequence until they go to court and then there is a conviction or acquittal. There are long term consequences until conviction, but there really are not long term consequences if they are able to beat the charge because it is off their record like it never happened.
In Maryland, illegal substance charges or any charge can be dismissed early on in the process, and sometimes they are charged, however, usually, it is not done right away because when they are charged, that does not mean a criminal file has been made. If there are somehow still exonerating issues, whether it turns out the substance was not actually illegal drugs and they were allowed to have it, or if it turns out that they have got the wrong person, it typically takes time before those are ascertained and figured out.
Common Mistakes Made by Law Enforcement
Often times, police are too quick to search, they can go forward and try to find something to pin it on somebody. The benefit of this mistake is at trial, they can beat the charge, unfortunately, it will not stop somebody from getting arrested or having to go to court.
Attorneys can use these mistakes to challenge the case at trial and have the case thrown out. If there are some illegalities on behalf of the officer, it gives a defense attorney leverage. If there are problems with the state’s case, they are willing to offer a resolution, that they otherwise will not be able to do, because they understand the weaknesses of their case. A lot of times, they can leverage it both during the course of preparation as well at the trial itself.
Contacting an Attorney
Immediately, there are things that can be done from the very beginning and it is not just a matter of protecting them from saying anything or do anything; very frequently, there can be evidence lost, there can be surveillance footage or other recordings that can be purged if they are being stored somewhere. Also, if there are witnesses, memories fade; it is much better to talk to a witness the day afterward than months afterward. Those are things, lost if they are alone.
Maryland drug charges can be a very tiring and strenuous process, with many different charges that can be placed on the alleged accuser. If you are facing penalties for a Maryland drug charge it is essential that you consult with a highly qualified defense lawyer as soon as possible, so they can begin creating your defense early on in the case.