Prosecution of Drug Charges in Ocean City
The penalties that accompany Ocean City drug charges are contingent on how Ocean City defines the drug in question. There is a spectrum of penalties depending on what the drug is that the person possesses and if there is anything specific about these drugs that causes them to be subject to a harsher penalty.
In a case of marijuana possession, for example, if the person possesses less than 10 grams of the substance it is deemed a civil offense and is no longer considered a criminal offense. This means that the maximum penalty that a person would face for the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana would only be a fine. Possession of marijuana greater than 10 grams is considered a criminal offense, but still carries a much smaller penalty than most drugs.
However, if a person is charged with the possession of a substance such as cocaine or opiates that is still considered a misdemeanor, but it carries a much harsher penalty. The maximum penalty for the possession of substances like cocaine or opiates is four years and/or a fine making it even more imperative that an Ocean City drug lawyer is contacted.
What is Needed to Prove Guilt in a Drug Case?
Prosecutors need a combination of physical evidence and testimony. They would have to prove that first of all, that the substance is an illegal substance; that the person who has this drug can’t legally possess this drug.
So they submit the suspect substance to the Maryland State Police Crime lab and the substance is tested by chemists that are employed by the state.
The chemist writes a report and submits that report. The prosecutor can use that report in evidence to prove that the substance is in fact an illegal substance. If they follow the rules of procedure correctly, they can actually submit just that report and they don’t have to call as a witness the actual chemist that performed the test. The State also needs testimony from the police officer to establish that the defendant possessed the drug. The officer would have to testify to the facts of the case, the contact with the person, where the officer located the drugs, et cetera.
Treatment in Court
Common drug crimes in Ocean City are prosecuted aggressively and the reason for that is that from the prosecutor’s standpoint, drug addiction leads to a whole host of other criminal behavior. It could be the addict is stealing somebody else’s medication to use it, it could be that they are stealing property of another person in order to fund their own addiction. The prosecutor’s office, the police, the judges, and everybody treats it very seriously. There is starting to be, however, more of an acknowledgment by the criminal justice system that addiction cannot be treated by simply giving somebody a jail sentence. Addiction needs to be addressed in its own unique way and one way of accomplishing that is through drug court and Ocean City does participate in drug courts. They have one in both district court and the circuit court.
Often, if somebody is considered eligible for drug court, they will be expected to get into treatment. They will be tested randomly and then they also must work on all the related issues, for example education and employment. Drug Court will address helping somebody get a driver’s license and find stable housing. It is important to get an experienced drug attorney because attorneys are a person’s advocate in court. They are the ones who know the resource and know the people that provide the resources. An attorney is the advocate that a person needs to try and get a defendant to have their case considered for drug court or some other sort of alternative option to jail time.
Abuse Of Medically Approved Drugs
It is perfectly legal for a person to possess prescription medication that has prescribed to them, but it is illegal for them to give their prescription drugs to someone else. This act is considered a crime and all involved parties will be brought up on drug charges.
It’s also considered a crime for a person to possess a drug that has not been prescribed to them, which is, unfortunately, a frequent offense in Ocean City. There is an increase in drug users that are using other people’s prescription medications, especially among teens and young adults in their early 20’s.