Montgomery County Drug Lawyer
A drug charge could be an intimidating thing to face. A conviction could be costly, result in probation or jail time, and could tarnish your criminal record. Fortunately, you do not have to face the court system alone. If you are charged for a controlled substance violation, a Montgomery County drug lawyer could help. Call a credible defense attorney today to learn more about your rights and options.
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a controlled substance is controlled by § 5-601 of Maryland’s Criminal Law Code. It makes it a misdemeanor to possess a controlled dangerous substance. A person convicted under this section is subject to a maximum sentence of up to four years incarceration and a fine of up to $25,000.
It may be surprising to learn of the wide range of discretion the court has in these cases. A MoCo drug lawyer could turn that discretion into an advantage. Because there are no mandatory minimum sentences for simple possession offenses, an attorney could help drastically mitigate the consequences for a §5-601 violation.
Intent to Distribute
A conviction for possession with the intent to distribute will result in more serious consequences than mere possession. The penalties for this crime vary according to several factors. Typically, however, possession with intent to sell a Schedule I or Schedule II drug will result in a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in state prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A charge involving a controlled substance other a Schedule I or I substance typically carries a maximum sentence of five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000.
As of 2019, there is a national trend toward relaxing penalties for marijuana-related charges. Montgomery County is no exception and has specific laws for marijuana which are more permissive than laws controlling other substances.
A first conviction for less than ten grams of marijuana is a civil offense which carries a fine of up to $100. A second conviction will result in a fine of up to $250. A third conviction could result in a fine of up to $500. There is no possibility of a jail sentence for the possession of fewer than ten grams of marijuana. The possession of an amount of marijuana greater than ten grams could, however, result in jail time, typically not exceeding a year, and a fine of up to $1,000.
A conviction for the possession of drug paraphernalia which is not related imbibing marijuana could result in a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of up to $25,000. Examples of this sort of paraphernalia include syringes, and pipes with residue of a non-marijuana controlled substance.
A conviction for marijuana paraphernalia is punishable by up to a full year in jail and a fine of up to $500. Examples of this type of paraphernalia include bongs, pipes, rolling papers, blunts, and vaporizers. It may be surprising to learn that the penalty for marijuana paraphernalia could result in a more severe penalty than the possession of actual marijuana. An experienced local drug attorney could nevertheless work to mitigate the consequences of such a charge.
Volume Dealer Statutes
In Montgomery County, a charge involving certain quantities of a controlled substance will trigger a special penalty scheme. These amounts are set forth in the Maryland Code. The amount required to trigger a §5-612 violation varies according to the specific controlled substance. A few examples are:
- 50 pounds or more of marijuana
- 448 grams or more of cocaine
- 50 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as “crack”
- 28 grams or more of morphine
- 1,000 dosage units or more of lysergic acid diethylamide
A conviction under this section will result in a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment without a possibility of parole.
Talk to a Montgomery County Drug Attorney
If you are charged with any controlled substance offense in MoCo, it is vital to consult with a drug attorney. An attorney who understands how the courts tend to handle various drug charges could help mitigate the consequences of a conviction or fight to prove your innocence at trial. Call today to learn more about how a Montgomery County drug lawyer could assist in your case.