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Penalties for Bethesda Drug Charges
Illegal drugs are enumerated by statute, and can be outlined by the particular chemical content in the drugs. Even traces of a particular controlled dangerous substance inside a larger quantity of something can be considered a controlled dangerous substance violation.
These can include THC, 3, 4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), and compounds that make up cocaine and heroin. Prescription medications are also considered controlled dangerous substances and can violate the criminal statute in the state of Maryland.
To better understand the potential penalties associated with your drug charge in Bethesda, it is important that you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to help craft a defense to help reduce any consequences you may be facing.
Range of Consequences
There are certain drugs that are penalized more harshly than others. For example, marijuana is considered a less serious drug and charged less than a possession of something that was not marijuana. Possession of marijuana in a quantity larger than 10 grams carries a maximum penalty of 12 months of jail time. Possession of something other than marijuana carries a maximum penalty of up to four years of jail time.
There is a strong distinction between the way marijuana is treated versus controlled dangerous substances that are not marijuana. Additionally, possession of certain drugs has a different stigma and a different practical penalty from the court system, even though the maximum penalty for a drug charge in Bethesda might be the same as another dangerous substance.
For example, somebody in possession of a prescription medication might not be treated as harshly as someone in possession of a more common drug considered dangerous such as cocaine or heroin. Cocaine and heroin do not have any practical purpose.
However, the court can recognize that a person might have a pain medication and they had a prescription for it one time but no longer do. They may have taken a medication that was legally prescribed and used it at one point, but began using it recreationally thereafter.
The penalties in terms of the statutory maximums of such a Bethesda drug charge are the same. However, the practical application of those penalties in the court can vary depending on the type of drug and the attitude of that particular court system toward those drugs.
When someone has a valid prescription for a controlled dangerous substance, they are permitted to be in possession of that controlled dangerous substance. This can help lessen or dismiss any penalties of a Bethesda drug charge.
There are some laws that prohibit the manner in which a particular prescription medication is kept on a person, such as not being in a properly labeled container.
However, these laws can be litigated favorably for the defense when the person charged provides a valid prescription for the drug that was valid at the time they were in possession of that particular drug.
How An Attorney Can Help
A person charged with illegal drug conduct in Bethesda should enlist the help of an experienced attorney because of the types of constitutional issues associated with these cases. Only an attorney with experience challenging these cases in the criminal court system can properly introduce evidence and make arguments in court to build the most effective defense possible.
Often times, an attorney can assist a person by doing things to prepare for court from a damage-control perspective. That includes tactics such as requesting and being evaluated for a drug education program, enrolling in drug treatment of some kind, or beginning to participate in community service.
The attorney can arrange for letters of character, letters of productivity, or evidence of productivity like employment or being in school. These are all things that give the court pause before sending someone to jail.