The penalties for possession, sales, and trafficking of drugs in Maryland are some of the strictest throughout the United States. If charged and convicted of a drug crime in Maryland, the consequences are significant and may result in years of jail time as well as thousands of dollars in fines. Most of the drug laws in Maryland correlate directly with Federal Scheduling dictated by the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can effectively fight your charges and protect your future. The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience defending clients who are facing a bleak future. Contact our firm today to discuss your situation.
Federal Drug Schedule Impacts a Drug Crime Charge
The state of Maryland’s drug laws are generally in line with the federal scheduling of the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, with marijuana being the exception. Drugs are scheduled by their rate of abuse, their potential for addiction, medical benefits, and safety.
- Schedule I drugs include marijuana, heroin, MDMA, LSD, and bath salts. These are the most dangerous drugs and are considered to have no medical benefit as well as a high rate of addiction and abuse.
- Schedule II drugs include cocaine, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, barbiturates, and hydrocodone. These are not considered to be as dangerous as schedule I drugs but still have a high potential for danger, despite having some medical benefits.
- Schedule III drugs include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and drugs that have more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dose. While they have a medium level of abuse, they also have medical uses.
- Schedule IV and V drugs are considered the least dangerous drugs, as they have a low potential for abuse and they are regularly used for medicinal purposes.
Marijuana Laws in Maryland
Though marijuana is still listed as a schedule I drug in accordance with the federal schedule, many states have moved to legalize the drug. While it is not legal for recreational use in Maryland, it is permitted to be used for medicinal purposes. Medical marijuana is heavily regulated in the state and only those who are prescribed by a medical doctor may use it and must be registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
Unlawful possession of marijuana in Maryland can result in serious consequences, including the following:
- Possession of fewer than 10 grams is a civil offense with a $100 fine
- Possession of at least 10 grams but less than 50 lbs is a misdemeanor with a $1000 and 1 year in jail
- Possession of more than 50 lbs is a felony with a minimum sentence of 5 years and a $100,000 fine
Of course, possession with intent to distribute is a much more serious crime. This is a penalty that results in the following consequences:
- Less than 50 lbs results in a $15,000 fine and 5 years in jail
- Greater than 50 lbs results in a $15,000 fine and a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years
- Greater than 50 lbs as a drug kingpin results in a $1,000,000 fine and between 20-40 years in jail
- In a school vehicle or within 1000 feet of a school results in a $20,000 fine and 20 years in jail
Cocaine Laws in Maryland
If you are charged with the simple possession of cocaine, you are facing a misdemeanor with up to 4 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. If you are found guilty of bringing more than 28 grams of cocaine into the state of Maryland, you may face a felony, a $50,000 fine, and up to 25 years in jail. If you are found guilty of the intent to distribute or selling cocaine, you will face a felony with 20 years in jail and/or a $25,000 fine. Selling more than 448 grams of cocaine or 50 grams of crack is a felony, resulting in at least 40 years in jail.
Heroin Laws in Maryland
Heroin addiction is a serious issue across the country. If convicted of simple possession, you face a misdemeanor charge, a $25,000 fine, and up to 4 years in jail. Bringing more than 4 grams of heroin into Maryland results in a felony, a $50,000 fine and 25 years in jail. The sale or intent to sell of up to 28 grams of heroin is a felony charge resulting in up to 20 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. Selling or the intention to sell more than 28 grams is a minimum sentence of 40 years in jail.
Contact a Maryland Defense attorney
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing those who have been charged with possession, intent to sell, sales, and other drug crimes. Our firm has significant experience investigating our clients’ arrests, exploring all legal avenues, and defending their constitutional rights. If you have been charged with a drug crime, contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to learn how we can effectively fight your charges.