Bethesda Drug Possession Lawyer
In Bethesda, there are two different types of possession, actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means that the person has drugs on their person. For example, the drug is in their pockets, socks, or their hand. Somewhere that makes it very obvious that they are the possessor. Constructive possession is more complicated. The person does not have it physically in their possession. The drug is in close proximity, close enough that circumstantial evidence would tell the court that it exists and was in their possession.
If you are facing a drug possession charge in Bethesda and are looking toward the next steps, it is pertinent that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A seasoned Bethesda drug possession lawyer will be able to help lessen or dismiss any penalties associated with your charge.
Being Found in Possession
A person could be found possessing illegal drugs in many different ways. The most common ways are in their vehicle, in their home, or on their person. They have an interaction with the police officer and during the course of that, the police stop them.
There is a difference between actual and constructive possession of controlled dangerous substances, but both theories, if proven beyond a reasonable doubt, are enough to prosecute somebody with possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Constructive possession is a bit trickier in terms of proving the charge. For example, someone is driving a vehicle and there are drugs in the vehicle but the drugs are not necessarily in their pocket or in their hands. That could constitute constructive possession. If the drugs were in a bag in their home when their home was searched by the police, that might constitute constructive possession.
There are many examples of constructive possession. Constructive possession is a far weaker argument by the state than actual possession when it comes to the possession of a controlled dangerous substance. A Bethesda drug possession lawyer will be able to help challenge the state’s claim of constructive possession.
There are many drugs considered illegal in Bethesda. The most common are
- Marijuana more than 10 grams
- Prescription drugs such as Xanax, Vicodin, OxyContin, and antidepressants.
Further, any substance that somebody does not have a valid prescription for is considered a controlled and dangerous substance and violates the drug statute in Bethesda. An experienced Bethesda drug possession attorney can assist an individual in efficiently fighting their charge surrounding any aforementioned illegal substances.
Severity of the Charge
A first offense of possession is when somebody does not have a criminal record. It is not viewed as an extremely serious charge. It can be considered a misdemeanor and the courts may opt for trying to achieve early intervention.
Law enforcement and prosecutors treat these exactly as they should in a first offense and try to give people a second chance when they can with respect to these charges. In many circumstances, there are obvious charges that can be eliminated from a person’s record if their attorney can demonstrate that the charges are isolated and the person does not repeat criminal activity.
The penalties for possessing illegal drugs in Bethesda can be very severe. They can carry a maximum penalty of one to four years’ incarceration.
One factor that affects the seriousness of a possession charge is the quantity that one had on their person. A person who is in possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance might be in a position where they are charged with felony possession with intent to distribute.
They might also find themselves with more serious consequences if they have a lengthy criminal history or if, during the course of their arrest, they acted out in some way by resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, or something of that nature. A knowledgeable drug possession lawyer in Bethesda can help lessen the severity of these aggravating factors.
Being convicted of drug-related criminal offenses can have collateral consequences beyond the courtroom that could include jail time, fines, and probation. A person might experience more collateral consequences such as loss of employment; being expelled from an academic program, university, or graduate school; and being unable to obtain certain professional licenses.
Due to the severity of such consequences, it is crucial that an individual contact a Bethesda drug possession lawyer as soon as possible to begin building an effective defense.