It should go without saying that for any person in Maryland to buy, possess, distribute, or sell drugs would constitute an illegal act. You can be charged with a drug crime if a law enforcement officer believes you are in possession of an illegal drug. It should be noted that even a tiny amount of an illicit substance can result in criminal charges. If you are facing charges of drug possession in Maryland, please continue reading, then contact an experienced drug crimes lawyer today. Here are some questions you may have:
What are the consequences of drug possession in Maryland?
Pursuant to the Maryland Criminal Code, a person may not possess a controlled dangerous substance. By this definition, a person may not possess prescription drugs without a legitimate prescription. Individuals can face severe penalties if this law is violated. It is possible that these penalties will impact the individual for the remainder of his or her life. Depending on the substance in which the person was found in possession, the penalties can vary. Possession of a controlled substance, not marijuana, carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
It is crucial that individuals know that there is an exception for the possession of marijuana products. So long as the individual has a valid state marijuana card, he or she may legally possess the drug. You may be subject to a monetary citation or up to six months in jail with a maximum fine of $1,000 for a first-time marijuana possession offense. Even though the state of Maryland has decriminalized possession of up to ten grams of marijuana, you may still receive a civil citation.
What are the consequences of drug possession with intent to distribute in Maryland?
It is a different charge than regular possession when a person is charged with possession with the intent to distribute illegal drugs. If law enforcement believes a person was carrying drugs with the intent to either distribute or sell them, he or she may face these charges. The state must introduce evidence that the offender possessed enough of the drug to reasonably indicate these plans or in such a way that the intent to sell is evident. This intent may be exhibited by possession of a large amount of cash, a scale, or having the substance individually packaged. Possession with the intent to distribute is a felony charge in Maryland.
Two factors will determine what penalties a person may face in these situations: The types of substances and the amount in their possession. First-time offenders may face up to twenty years in jail and a $15,000 fine. Second-time offenders may face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in jail. Third-time offenders may be subject to a mandatory 25-year minimum sentence. Fourth-time offenders may face a mandatory 40-year sentence.
No matter how many times, if any, you have previously faced these charges, you need a skilled Maryland criminal defense lawyer to defend you.
Contact our Howard and Anne Arundel County Firm
If you have been charged with a crime or injured by another party’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today.