Unique Aspects of Baltimore Drug Charges
If you are facing a drug charge, you could benefit from contacting an experienced defense attorney to help you understand the unique aspects of Baltimore drug charges. A conviction on a drug charge could result in life-long consequences that extend beyond jail time and fines. A drug attorney could look over the facts of your case and provide guidance on the best steps to take moving forward.
Drug Laws in Baltimore
Behaviors that are prohibited by Maryland drug laws include possession of a controlled dangerous substance or possession of any drug paraphernalia. More serious crimes include drug distribution and possession with intent to distribute. An illegal drug would be any controlled dangerous substance that is not obtained through a valid prescription, such as cocaine and meth.
Drug crimes are of high priority for law enforcement due to the fact that there is an ongoing epidemic with drug abuse in the area, whether it is prescription or higher schedule narcotics. However, there are local laws or practices can affect drug enforcement. A recent law states that possession of fewer than ten grams of marijuana is not a criminal charge. It is still illegal, but a defendant would be facing a civil fine instead of incarceration.
There are exemptions in Baltimore and throughout Maryland that enable certain people to legally interact with these substances. Individuals could possess certain types of drugs, such as medical marijuana, that are obtained through a valid prescription from their healthcare provider for certain types of disorders. In these cases, an individual must produce a certificate from the physician proving they had been diagnosed with the debilitating medical condition.
Common Drug-Related Crimes
The most common drug crime in Baltimore is simple possession, where an officer finds small amounts of illegal substances on a defendant’s person, in their vehicle, or in their home. These cases often involve marijuana, ecstasy, or cocaine. Law enforcement officers have been trying to crack down on the possession of fentanyl, which is a highly dangerous drug, as well as other prescription drugs that have the susceptibility to be abused, such as oxycodone.
Illegal Substance Charges and Penalties
Certain drugs are penalized more harshly than others. This includes heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.
The legal system also handles cases that involve drugs that are medically approved but abused. These cases involve an individual who initially lawfully obtained the prescription drug, but becomes dependent on it and began abusing it. However, there is a trend to help and treat individuals suffering from prescription drug addiction. Instead of incarcerating the individual, a court tends to rehabilitate them through alternative programs like drug education.
Drug convictions could have penalties that extend beyond incarceration and fines. A conviction could affect their ability to obtain employment or housing and could affect any type of scholarships that they have if they are a student.
Constitutional Issues for Drug Charges
Constitutional issues in drug cases typically pertain to the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects all citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. If law enforcement fails to meet certain requirements, searches of an individual’s person, vehicle, or home may be considered illegal. If police found evidence through an illegal search or seizure, a skilled Baltimore attorney may be able to have it thrown out.
Hire a Baltimore Drug Attorney for Help
Drug charges carry serious penalties. Simple possession of a controlled dangerous substance, not including marijuana, is a misdemeanor with the potential for incarceration and heavy fines. Having a criminal record could impact all aspects of your life, whether you are trying to obtain housing, employment, or applying for school. Having an attorney who knows the specific laws around drug cases could be vital in protecting your future. Call a Baltimore attorney for help building a defense tailored to the unique aspects of your case.