Maryland Drug Lawyer
Maryland is one of the harshest of the United States on drug offenders. In addition to enforcing mandatory minimum prison sentences on many drug-related crimes, especially repeat offenses, Maryland was one of the leading states in arresting marijuana possession offenders — police arrested 23,000 offenders in 2010. But in 2012, the state passed a law lowering the penalty for marijuana possession to no more than one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. Some offenders may not be so fortunate; being convicted for a fourth drug distribution in Maryland charge can result in a 40-year prison sentence.
Drug charges are a serious matter and require the assistance of a professional Maryland drug lawyer. Repeat offenders may find that an expert attorney can avoid mandatory minimum prison sentences by negotiating plea arrangements with prosecutors. With overcrowding in prisons becoming a serious problem, you owe it to yourself to fight for your freedom and have a good chance of winning it with the help of one of our expert Maryland drug lawyers.
Drug Law Info
- Maryland Drug Law
Maryland Drug Law
A total of 47,633 people were arrested in 2010 for drug charges in Maryland, outlined primarily in Md. Code Crim. Law ß 5-602 through 5-606. The highest percentage of arrests was for marijuana charges — about 56 percent. Opium and cocaine accounted for a further 38 percent. Only about 19 percent of all arrests throughout Maryland were for sale or manufacture, which are typically treated more seriously during sentencing compared to simple possession.
Possession of Marijuana in Maryland
While possession of any drug in Maryland can be a serious charge, possession of marijuana is one of the least strictly enforced. Under CR 5-601(a)(1), it is illegal to possess marijuana, and the potential sentence depends on the amount in your possession at the time of your arrest:
- Possession of 10 grams or more – $1,000.00 fine, one year imprisonment
- Possession of less than 10 grams – $500.00 fine, 90 days imprisonment
A Maryland drug lawyer can always dispute drug possession charges, especially if there is evidence to suggest that the amount listed in your charges is inaccurate. Maryland also punishes alleged offenders of CR 5-601(a)(2), which stipulates a $1,000.00 fine and one year of imprisonment for those that obtain marijuana by fraud.
Possession of Other Drugs in Maryland
Potential sentences for drugs other than marijuana in Maryland are typically much harsher. CR 5-601(a)(1) sets the maximum sentence for all possession charges at a $25,000 fine and four-year prison sentence. Under Maryland Code, Criminal Law, 5-614, the state enforces significant charges on those that attempt to bring large amounts of any drug into the state, regardless of whether or not it was intended for distribution. If you’re arrested for attempting to bring the following amounts of drugs across state lines, you could be facing up to a $50,000 fine and imprisonment for up to 25 years.
- 45 kilograms of marijuana or more.
- 28 grams of cocaine or more (or a mixture that contains cocaine)
- 4 grams of opium or morphine or more, or any derivative
- 1,000 dosage units of lysergic acid diethylamide (or a mixture containing)
- 28 grams of phencyclidine or more in liquid or powder
- 112 grams of anything containing phencyclidine or more
- 1,000 dosage unites or more of methaqualone
- 28 grams of methamphetamine (or a mixture containing) or more
- 4 grams of fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue or more
The primary indicator of distribution for many police officers is the presence of large amounts of a drug that are unlikely to be for personal use. For example, prosecutors could push for distribution charges (a felony) if you are arrested with more than 28 grams of cocaine, even if you had no intention of selling or distributing the drug. Normally, all possession charges in Maryland are misdemeanors. A felony drug conviction will not only result in severe immediate penalties, but will likely have a negative impact on the rest of your life; getting a job, finding an apartment, and obtaining credit may all be difficult. A professional Maryland drug lawyer can examine all evidence against you and fight the state on your behalf.
Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia Possession
Similar penalties exist in Maryland for the possession of drug paraphernalia or any item used to administer drugs. These items could include syringes, spoons, pipes, and bongs. CR 5-619(c)(1) through CR 5-620(b) outline the specifics and penalties of drug paraphernalia charges in Maryland. CR 5-619(c)(1) makes it illegal to possess any drug paraphernalia. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500.00 fine for the first offense. Subsequent offenses increase the penalty to $2,000.00 and two years of imprisonment. CR 5-619(d)(1) lists the same penalties for distributing paraphernalia. Although still a misdemeanor, distributing drug paraphernalia to a minor is punishable by up to $15,000.00 in fines and eight years of imprisonment.
It’s important to remember that a qualified Maryland drug lawyer can fight drug paraphernalia charges in the state by making a variety of arguments, such as that the paraphernalia was never intended for illegal drugs at all or the materials used for manufacturing drugs were not your own or on your property.
Sale, Manufacture, and Distribution Drug Laws and Penalties
Any evidence suggested that you intended to sell, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances other than marijuana should be carefully examined by a Maryland drug defense lawyer, as the associated penalties are severe, even beginning with the first offense. Maryland Code, Criminal Law, 5-603, 605-609, 612 asserts the following:
- Manufacturing, selling, or distributing any Schedule I or II narcotic: 20-year imprisonment, $25,000 fine
- Manufacturing, selling, or distributing LSD, PCP, or fentanyl: 20-year imprisonment, $20,000 fine
- Any other controlled substance: 5-year imprisonment, $15,000 fine
Md. Code Crim. Law ß 5-602 through 5-606 allow subsequent offenses (even if previous convictions were in other states) to elevate potential penalties:
- Second offense: 20 years imprisonment, $25,000 fine
- Third offense: 25 years imprisonment, $100,000 fine
- Fourth offense: 40 years imprisonment, $100,000 fine
Possession of drug materials that indicate a likelihood of manufacture (such as a “meth lab” or “grow operation”) is a much more serious accusation in reference to drugs other than marijuana. Possession of materials used to grow marijuana in sufficient amounts to indicate distribution is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a $1,000.00 fine. With all other materials used to create controlled substances, the charge can be a felony with a potential $25,000.00 fine and four-year imprisonment.
Conditional Drug Penalties
Certain conditions can exacerbate penalties related to drug charges. Two of the most common conditions Maryland drug lawyers face are distribution of any drug within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (excluding marijuana). Maryland Code, Criminal Law, 5-627 lists the penalty for those who allegedly attempt to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school as no more than 20-years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. CR 5-621(b)(1) makes it a felony to possess a firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime. In order to be charged with this crime, the state must prove that the firearm was related to the drug crime allegedly taking place, something your Maryland drug defense lawyer will assist you with.
If you’re facing drug charges in Maryland, it’s important to understand how potentially serious the penalties can be. Our Maryland drug lawyers are experts in state and local court systems, as well as all cases related to drug possession, use, or distribution. Without a drug lawyer willing to fight for you in court, you could face penalties like imprisonment and hefty fines in addition to difficulties securing government jobs, homes/apartments, or financing in the future if you’re convicted. Let one of our expert Maryland drug lawyers in the following counties, cities, and metropolitan areas guide you safely through the legal system and help you move on with your life:
While the city of Baltimore has recently shifted efforts from its war on drugs to combating violent crime, drug arrests continue to be a common occurrence in the area. In 2005, 100,654 people living in Baltimore were arrested on drug charges, including possession, sales, and manufacturing. Of these, 6,020 were charged with possession of marijuana while a further 12,131 were charged with possessing cocaine or opium (including heroin). Our Maryland defense lawyers in Baltimore are familiar with the local court system and law enforcement. We’ll examine all aspects of your case, especially the evidence against you, to help you understand and fight any charges filed against you.
Drug offenses in Bethesda are usually serious charges, with possible penalties including fines, jail or prison time, and substance abuse counseling, depending on the severity of the alleged crime. Bethesda is one of the most educated towns in the United States as well as the top-earning based on resident salaries. While drug crimes are often more prevalent in low-income areas, anyone at any time can be accused of possessing or distributing drugs, even innocent civilians. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Maryland, it’s in your best interest to seek the best Maryland drug lawyer you can find within the city. A qualified Maryland drug lawyer can examine the evidence in your case and defend you from accusations made by the state.
The large college student population of this city, due to the presence of the University of Maryland – College Park, also leads to an increase of drug charges in the local area. But college students aren’t the only College Park residents that can find themselves facing serious drug charges. If you’ve been charged with a crime related to drugs, an expert Maryland drug lawyer is essential to helping you avoid jail time and hefty fines.
If you’re facing drug charges in Columbia, you likely have many questions. Since Columbia’s exact border limits are confusing due to the city being unincorporated, where will you go to trial? What penalties are you facing? How can you better your chances of receiving a dismissal or not-guilty verdict? Our expert team of Maryland drug lawyers in Columbia is experienced in answering just these types of questions. Our attorneys in Columbia specialize in working with clients from all backgrounds as they prepare their defense against the state.
Total drug-related arrests in Montgomery County increased from 2001 to 2005, finally culminating in 18,509 total arrests in 2005, an increase of 647 over the previous year. Marijuana arrests were the most common, with 1,775 arrests, while cocaine and heroin charges made up another 877 that year. Our Maryland drug lawyers in Montgomery County have the expertise necessary to guide you through the complicated legal system while protecting your rights and privacy throughout the case. If you’re facing drug charges in Montgomery County, a professional drug lawyer is essential to help you avoid jail time and hefty fines.
Prince George’s County
Of the 53,047 drug-related arrests made in Maryland during 2005, around 5.1 percent were in Prince George’s County. While about 57.6 percent of these arrests were for possession, sales or manufacturing accounted for an almost equal amount, at 42.4 percent. This prompted state officials to claim that illegal drugs “flowed from Prince George’s County” as well as Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The increase in drug-related arrests in Prince George’s County as a result of increased drug use, sale, and manufacture has allowed our Maryland drug lawyers to specialize in defending those facing drug charges in Prince George’s County.
Rockville has recently taken a greater interest in combating drug use in the surrounding area. In 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality released a report on national drug use and health from their office in Rockville. According to the report, around 22.6 million people in the United States over age 12 had used an illicit drug within the 30 days before the study, about 8.9 percent of the total U.S. population. It makes sense that the local law enforcement of Rockville is especially watchful for alleged drug violations. If you’ve been charged with any drug crime in Maryland, you could face severe penalties, like fines and imprisonment. A Maryland drug defense attorney can help you get the best possible outcome in your upcoming case.
Hyattsville is home to a lot of students who attend the University of Maryland as well as a number of people who commute to Washington, D.C. on a daily basis for their work. In this mixed population, some Hyattsville citizens are caught with drugs in their possession. It is at this point that you need a qualified attorney to handle your defense, and our lawyers in Hyattsville can do just that.
Silver Spring, Maryland is a suburb of Washington, D.C. and an emerging metropolis in its own right. Like any growing city, especially one with access to a major city like the District of Columbia, Silver Spring has its issues with drugs. If you have been arrested in this area or if you have been formally charged, our attorneys in Silver Spring might be able to help you.