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Continuing Criminal Enterprise Charges in Ocean City

In Maryland, there is a specific charge for a person who is proven by the state to be a drug kingpin. An Ocean City drug lawyer can help identify and explain areas of concern for your case and build a defense for the most desirable outcome. To be able to convict somebody of continuing criminal enterprise in Ocean City, the state must prove that the defendant holds some sort of position of authority within a group.

For example, if they are supervisors of other individuals in a chain of distributors, they could be defined as a drug kingpin. Or, if the state can prove the person was acting as a co-conspirator in a conspiracy to manufacture or transport a large amount of drugs into the state, potentially the state can prove that the defendant was a drug kingpin.

Drug Kingpin Conviction in Maryland

In order to convict somebody of continuing criminal enterprise, the state must prove there was a conspiracy to distribute or transport a large amount of drugs and the defendant occupied a position of authority as a co-conspirator in that group. The state must produce evidence that the defendant was somehow organizing this group, or was responsible for supervising or managing some aspects of it. If that is proven, the person could be convicted of being a drug kingpin.

The finder of fact is allowed to aggregate the amount of drugs involved in transactions within the ninety-day period. In other words, if there were a couple of different distributions and they didn’t add up to the required weight to convict for importation, but the person had multiple transactions over a ninety-day period of time, all those different transactions could be added up to get to the weight or the amount needed to prove importation.

To be convicted of being a drug kingpin is an incredibly serious offense and carries the greatest penalties of any of the drug charges in Ocean City. It is a felony. The maximum penalty for that offense is forty years, but it carries a mandatory minimum of twenty years in prison. That is a mandatory minimum without the possibility of parole. The maximum fine amount is one million dollars. So, it is a very serious offense with a huge sentence that someone faces when they are charged with being a kingpin.

Drug Kingpin Charges and Penalties in Ocean City

To be convicted of continuing criminal enterprise in Ocean City and being a kingpin, the state must prove there was a conspiracy. Many offenses don’t require proof of conspiracy. For the drug kingpin charge, the state must prove the defendant, along with other individuals, were conspiring to distribute drugs or to transport a certain amount into the state.

Being convicted of the charge of drug kingpin is a felony. It carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. The more significant part of the maximum sentence is the fact that this statute specifically requires a twenty-year minimum mandatory sentence and that is without parole which means that the judge has zero discretion. If the person is convicted of the charge, they receive the 20 year sentence at a minimum. It also carries a very hefty fine. The maximum fine is $1 million dollars, which is significantly higher than any other fine amount within the code for drug charges.

Importance of an Experienced Ocean City Drug Lawyer

It is very important to hire someone who is familiar with and has represented other individuals charged with the same offense. The attorney should be someone with experience and who understands the elements of each one of the offenses for which the defendant is charged. The attorney should be someone who thought about other previous defenses for prior clients and has experience in litigating suppression motions.

If the attorney successfully makes an argument to suppress the drug, the state has no case. Successfully arguing at a suppression hearing can mean the difference between being convicted and having the case dismissed due to the lack of evidence.

An Ocean City drug attorney should have experience in trying cases and be familiar with how to handle themselves in a jury, what to say to jurors, how to make a successful opening statement and closing argument. These are skills that cannot be taught in law school; they only come with experience and being in front of a jury and making those kinds of arguments over and over again. That is the sort of experience to look for when someone needs an attorney to help them with a case like this.