Gaithersburg Drug Lawyer
Whether law enforcement authorities are investigating or have arrested you on allegations of criminal activity, you are likely to be concerned about the potential impact on your life. In this situation, legal guidance can be invaluable throughout your criminal proceedings.
A Gaithersburg drug lawyer has the skills and knowledge necessary to represent your interests through every step of the process.
Legal counsel may be able to examine every aspect of your arrest and criminal charges to assure the protection of your rights. A criminal defense lawyer can weigh the evidence against you and determine your viable options for resolving your case. With legal advice, you may be able to reach a more favorable resolution to the charges against you. En Español.
Drug Offenses in Gaithersburg
The penalties for drug offenses depend on the type and amount of the drugs, as well as what individuals plan to do with the drugs. Aside from marijuana, controlled substances follow the federal government system for rating drugs. This system classifies the drugs based on their potential for misuse, danger to public health, and accepted medical uses.
State laws also distinguish between possession and distribution of drugs. As a result, possession of a small amount of drugs will result in more lenient punishment than that for distributing a large amount of drugs.
Aside from the amount of the drugs, other evidence, such as baggies, scales, and drug paraphernalia may suggest drug distribution activity as opposed to drug possession.
Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal and state law. However, the Maryland legislature has opted to treat it differently than other drugs by placing it in a separate category for penalties. Unless individuals have a valid prescription for medical marijuana, the drug remains illegal under state law.
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 5-601.1, individuals who possess ten grams or less of marijuana or marijuana-related paraphernalia can result in a civil violation that requires only the payment of a $100 fine for a first offense.
If the persons are under the age of 21, the court also will order them to attend a drug education program. For subsequent offenses, the civil fine increases, and after three violations, individuals over the age of 21 also may need to attend a drug education program.
On the other hand, if individuals possess between ten grams and 50 pounds of marijuana, they can face a misdemeanor charge that carries the potential of a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. A lawyer in Gaithersburg may be able to detail the additional consequences of a marijuana conviction, which can include drug education courses and substance abuse treatment.
Controlled Substances Offenses
Md. Code, Crim. Law § 5-601 makes it illegal to possess or administer a dangerous controlled substance to others. This section also prohibits getting or trying to get a controlled dangerous substance through fraud or misrepresentation. All possession charges are misdemeanor offenses that carry the potential for a sentence of incarceration of one to two years and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 5-602, distribution of dangerous controlled substances or possessing it in a quantity that indicates an intent to distribute is strictly prohibited. Individuals also may not manufacture these substances or maintain machines or equipment necessary to produce these substances. All of these offenses are felonies that can result in a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of $15,000.
Penalties for drug distribution, however, may increase rapidly if the offenses involve the delivery of Schedule I or II controlled substances. A prior history of drug convictions also can lead to more significant penalties. A drug attorney in Gaithersburg may be able to introduce mitigating factors in these situations and negotiate reduced charges or penalties in the appropriate circumstances.
Talk to a Gaithersburg Drug Attorney Today
Although the penalties for drug possession and distribution can be severe, you also may be able to receive treatment rather than punishment by availing yourself of specific alternatives. A Gaithersburg drug lawyer may be able to work to reach one of these resolutions in your case.
In some cases, pretrial diversion programs and probation before judgment may be options for lessening the impact of these charges on your life. Determining your eligibility for these options may be easier with the assistance of legal counsel. Reach out today to learn more.