Penalties for Drug Possession in Annapolis
Drug possession charges are often prosecuted intensely, with penalties that range from small fines to lengthy periods of probation. Due to the differing degrees of the charge, the penalties for drug possession in Annapolis vary in severity. These consequences can often have a negative effect on a person’s well-being, and prevent them from driving for an extended period of time.
To avoid such consequences, it is important that any individual accused of a drug possession charge contact an Annapolis drug possession attorney immediately. Only a seasoned lawyer will be able to help effectively fight your charge in court, and assist in lessening or dismissing any penalties you may be facing.
Severity of Drug Possession Penalties
The laws that concern drug possession are not necessarily harsh, but often depend on a person’s criminal history. Generally, a person with no criminal history might be offered an opportunity to complete a drug education class and have the charges against them dismissed completely. Someone with the same criminal charge and a lengthy criminal history might be facing extensive periods of jail time, probation, and strict conditions of probations as a penalty for their case.
A person could potentially be placed on probation, participate in community service, attend drug education or evaluation and treatment, and/or serve a period of incarceration depending on what number offense the current charge is and the severity of the offense.
Role of Diversion Programs
In Anne Arundel County, a diversion program is available for people that do not have a criminal history. Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have stricter diversion programs compared to other counties in Maryland.
Instead of dismissing the case after a person has completed a drug education or alcohol program, Annapolis requires that person to also stay out of trouble for a period of time, sometimes up to three years, before the charges can be dismissed. Those rules may vary depending on negotiations with the prosecution.
Length of the Sentence
The length of an individual’s sentence will be dependent on criminal history. Quantity is usually not relevant for first-time offenders that are charged with misdemeanors because the presumption is, if the quantity was incredibly high, those individuals would have been charged with something more serious like the felony of possession with intent to distribute.
Second-time offenders are not offered an opportunity for diversion. Not all second-time offenders face jail time but, second-time offenders might find themselves in a situation where a judge imposes a lengthy period of probation and/or more strict conditions of probation.
Benefits of an Attorney
An attorney can help lessen the penalties that are associated with drug possession by demonstrating to the court that the person may have taken some steps on their own to assure nothing like this happens again, such as an education class or a diversion program.