Ocean City Marijuana Possession Lawyer
Marijuana by statute is treated differently in Maryland, and therefore, treated differently in Ocean City as well. In Maryland, if a person possesses less than 10 grams of marijuana, it is considered a civil offense and no longer criminal which means it doesn’t carry any jail time and the maximum penalty for a first offense is a $100 fine. However, if a person possesses more than 10 grams of marijuana, then it is still considered a criminal offense and is punishable by up to a year in jail, $1,000 fine, or both.
In addition, a diversionary program may be offered which is unique only to marijuana possession cases. These programs can be argued for by an Ocean City marijuana possession lawyer and end in a dismissal of charges if the individual involved completes a certain number of community service hours and passes all drug tests. To see if you may be eligible consult with an Ocean City drug possession lawyer today.
Changes in nearby jurisdictions have not impacted the way that Ocean City enforces marijuana laws. Regardless of whether it’s being decriminalized in other jurisdictions, Ocean City is still actively and aggressively investigating these cases.
If the person possesses less than 10 grams of marijuana, it is a civil offense in Maryland and would only carry a fine, but it does not carry any jail time. If the person possesses more than 10 grams of marijuana, that would be a misdemeanor marijuana possession case, and the Ocean City Police Department is certainly enforcing those laws.
Ocean City aggressively investigates and makes an arrest for any kind of drug possession case. A part of that has to do with the fact that Ocean City is a tourist destination, and markets itself as a destination for families to vacation. As a result, they are very serious about investigating and trying to keep drugs out of the resort area, which makes contacting an Ocean City marijuana possession attorney all the more important if charged.
Difference Between Marijuana and Other Drug Cases
When it comes to defending a marijuana possession case, it’s important to make clear what the amount is that that is being charged, because the difference of a gram can be the difference between whether or not this is a civil offense or a criminal offense. That is a very important element for you and your marijuana possession attorney in Ocean City to consider.
Additionally, when it comes to defending marijuana possession, marijuana possession laws in Maryland are very much in a state of flux. There are changes being made to what it means to possess marijuana, and slowly but surely, there is recognition being paid to the benefits of medical marijuana. There certainly is a defense that is available to people who are possessing marijuana for medical purposes. It’s important to understand that defense and to consider if that is something that is relevant to this case. That makes it very different from other drug charges for all the other different types of drugs that a person can be charged with.
Long Term Implications
The long term consequences can be very serious and people often have a tendency to minimize what a conviction could mean because society, in general, is changing their attitude towards the use of marijuana.
Unfortunately, in this day and age there may be a lot of people who are all vying for either the same job or maybe the same promotion or students who vying for a seat at a university, and having a marijuana charge on your record could be the difference between getting the job or getting the promotion or getting into the school. The implications of what could happen if a person gets convicted of possession of marijuana should not be minimized, but certainly it is one of the lesser evils. There are drugs that are considered to be much more addictive and much more damaging, and marijuana doesn’t fall in that category anymore.
Typically for a first offense for marijuana possession, there is a very good likelihood that they would receive a sentence called probation before judgment, and that would allow them to be able to complete a period of probation and keep the conviction off of their record. There are options available to keep a person’s record clean if they’re charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and if they don’t have any other criminal record. In these cases, they have a very good chance of getting probation before a judgment and being able to keep their record clean.
Is There More Leniency in Court Because it’s Marijuana?
There is not leniency from prosecutor’s or a jury. When it comes to sentencing and a judge looking at possession of marijuana, there could be a certain amount of leniency in the sentence, but a lot of factors have to be present for that to happen. For example, if the person has a completely clean record, they are much more likely to be able to get probation before judgment and keep their record clean. However, if they have prior convictions on their record or if they have multiple other prior convictions for marijuana, that leniency would start to disappear.
Enforcement of Marijuana Possession
It’s important to understand that regardless of whether or not marijuana at some level has been decriminalized, Ocean City law enforcement is still actively investigating and charging people for marijuana possession. Some people tend to be more open about their marijuana use and it gets them in trouble almost every time.
Although it may be just a civil offense if it’s under 10 grams, what a lot of people don’t appreciate is that initial contact with the police officer because of smoking marijuana can lead to a host of other issues.
People have been charged with possession of drugs, like MDMA, Molly, Oxycodones, or Percocets, because they caught the attention of the officer because of smoking marijuana. The officer never would have had any reason to have contact with these people whatsoever. If the Ocean City Police Department has reason to either search your automobile or search your hotel room, anything that they find at that point would be fair game, and a person can end up getting some really serious charges.
It’s important for people to understand that simply smoking marijuana may just be a civil offense, but it can lead to a whole other host of problems if the police officer makes contact with them for that reason, but finds a completely different reason to charge them with some sort of crime.