Montgomery County Drug Lawyer
The drug wars have been immensely destructive in Maryland and nationwide, with drug arrests largely responsible for the U.S. having the highest incarceration rate in the world. If you are arrested, you do not have to become another person whose life was altered by misguided drug policies. Contact a Montgomery County drug lawyer today for help minimizing the harm of your charges when faced with crimes like that of possession, manufacturing, or intent to distribute.
In 2013, 48,938 people were arrested for drug crimes in the state of Maryland according to the annual Uniform Crime Report. A total of 3,276 of the defendants who were arrested lived in Montgomery County. There were 2.7 percent more drug arrests over the course of 2013 as compared with the prior year. In many cases, those arrested commit relatively low-level crimes like possession of drugs. However, regardless of how serious or minimal you believe your charges to be, a MoCo drug lawyer can work to minimize the impact of those charges on your personal life and your bank account.
Maryland Controlled Substances Laws
Drug schedules and their section code:
- Schedule I substances are listed in Maryland Code Section 5-402.
- Schedule II substances are listed in Code Section 5-403
- Schedule III substances are listed in Code Section 5-404.
- Schedule IV substances are listed in Code Section 5-405.
- Schedule V substances are listed in Code Section 5-406.
Substances considered dangerous or in need of restriction are divided into five different “schedules” in Maryland. Schedule I substances are considered the highest risk to public safety and in need of the tightest control measures, while Schedule V substances have limited risks but still must be restricted.
Schedule I substances have no medicinal purpose and are highly addictive. Schedule II drugs have an accepted medicinal purpose but can still be addictive and dangerous. Schedule III, IV and V drugs also have accepted medicinal purposes, and present more limited risks of addiction and harm.
Drug Crimes in Montgomery County, Maryland
You can be charged with violating Montgomery County drug laws as soon as you have any controlled substances in your possession without legal authority. This means you can be charged for both illegal drugs and for prescription medications without a valid prescription.
Penalties for drug offenses are defined in Code Sections 5-601, 5-607, 5-608, and 5-609. Penalties are the most serious for distribution and manufacturing, and are more severe for Schedule I and Schedule II substances than for other types of drugs. Possible charges where you may wish to contact a MoCo drug lawyer include:
- Marijuana possession, which can result in a maximum of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum $500 fine as long as you had less than 10 grams.
- Misdemeanor simple possession, which can result in up to four years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
- Distribution, intent to distribute, or dispensing of Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V substances. This can result in up to five years imprisonment.
- Distribution, intent to distribute, or dispensing a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic, which could lead to a $25,000 fine and up to two decades imprisonment.
For minor drug possession offenses, jail time is typically avoidable-, especially for a first offense. However, repeat offenders and those accused of distribution or intent to distribute are likely to serve at least some time incarcerated, making contact with a MoCo drug lawyer even more imperative.
How a Montgomery County Drug Lawyer Can Fight for You
The best course of action against substance-related charges depends on your specific circumstances, but contacting a Montgomery County drug lawyer could help you determine an effective strategy. For example, those arrested for drugs found during an illegal search can petition the court to suppress the illegally obtained evidence. This is a smart choice because a prosecutor cannot move forward without evidence. For others, negotiating a plea bargain may be the right option if the evidence against you is strong, since you may be able to cut a deal for reduced charges or a lesser penalty.
A skilled attorney will work hard to help you approach your charges in a smart way. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.