Ocean City Drug Lawyer
Drug charges carry the potential for high fines, the loss of certain constitutional rights, and lengthy prison sentences, and a conviction’s overall impact on your life could be incredibly serious. Charges for trafficking in drugs, possession, or manufacture can land you in prison for years and make getting employment after release almost impossible.
Because of the severity of these consequences, it is crucial that you mount a strong defense. An Ocean City drug lawyer could fight for your constitutional rights and help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Maryland Drug Offenses
Depending on the facts of the case, drug charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor offenses, though less serious than felonies, may still result in both jail time and high fines. Felony charges are far more serious and can result in incarceration, the loss of constitutional rights, and permanent designation as a “felon.”
To determine whether a drug offense will be a misdemeanor or a felony, one must examine certain factors. These criminal factors include, but are not limited to:
- If the offense is for trafficking, manufacturing, or possession
- The amount of drugs as part of the charge
- The type of drug and its federal schedule
- If a defendant has any prior drug offenses on their record
- Where the drugs were located or sold
These factors will be different in every case. With a qualified local defense lawyer by their side, a defendant could know the challenges they may face and begin to fashion a defense to the prosecutor’s charges.
How are Drugs Classified in Ocean City?
Illicit substances in Ocean City are categorized into five different groups, also known as schedules. These groups are determined by different key factors, such as each particular drug’s risk of addiction and accepted medical use.
Schedule I contains many of the most dangerous substances, and these drugs are not seen to have an accepted medical use. The drugs in this category include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Marijuana is also in this category, despite recent developments in its decriminalization in some states.
Schedule II drugs also are likely to lead to addiction and abuse. Some of these drugs have a medical use and can be prescribed by a doctor but remain illegal if an individual does not have a prescription themselves. These substances include codeine, morphine, and Adderall.
Schedule III substances have a less severe potential for abuse and include drugs such as ketamine. Drugs in Schedule IV have an even lower potential for abuse, such as Xanax or prescribed anxiety medications. Schedule V has the lowest risk for addiction and abuse, though the potential still exists. Cough syrup would fall under this category.
Someone facing criminal charges involving any of these substance categories should seek the advice of an Ocean City drug lawyer right away.
Marijuana is treated somewhat uniquely under state law. Possession of very small amounts (i.e. less than 10 grams) may lead to a civil offense, where the only punishment is a $50 ticket. Possession of more than that amount may result in a misdemeanor. Possession of a large amount of marijuana may cause the prosecutor to charge the defendant with intent to sell, which would move the possession into the felony range.
Sale, Distribution, or Manufacture of Drugs
To manufacture, distribute, or sell drugs is a violation under state law. This includes the possession of drugs with the intent to sell them. These offenses are nearly always felonies. As a result, the potential penalties include decades in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Consult an Ocean City Drug Attorney for Legal Guidance
Drug charges can rob you of your employment, your money, and your freedom. Fortunately, these potentially life-long consequences could be avoided with the help of skilled legal representation. If you have been accused of a drug offense, an experienced Ocean City drug lawyer could work diligently to minimize or dismiss your charges. Call today to set up a consultation of your case.