Introduction to Drug Crimes in Maryland
Federal laws explicitly ban the use and/or possession of scheduled drugs, from marijuana to heroin, and many others. State laws differ from drug to drug, and in Washington DC, possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal. In Maryland, possession of marijuana charges range from a civil offense (simple possession) to felony depending on the amount and intent. Scheduled drugs other than marijuana carry a more serious penalty in both Washington DC and Maryland, and carry charges from a misdemeanor to felony with prison times and fines. If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, finding the right defense attorney is extremely important in order to minimize your penalty.
Maryland Drug Laws
Misdemeanor and Civil Offense Drug Charges
A misdemeanor drug charge in Maryland or Washington D.C. is punishable with up to four years in prison as well as a fine of up to $25,000. The actual penalties are dependant on the situation, schedule and amount of drug, as well as the defendant’s personal history and criminal record. In some cases, a misdemeanor possession charge may be elevated to a felony intent to distribute if there is a considerable amount of the controlled substance present during the arrest. Your defense attorney will be able to make sense of the charges and determine the best path forward for your case.
Misdemeanor or civil offenses include marijuana possession less than 50 pounds, as well as a variety of paraphernalia. Marijuana paraphernalia carries a penalty of up to a year in prison and/or a $500 fine. All other drug paraphernalia carries penalties of up to 4 years in prison and fines to $25,000.
Felony Drugs Charges
Felony drug charges in Maryland carry significantly different sentencing guidelines than misdemeanor drug crimes, and vary depending on the schedule and/or designation of the drug(s) in question.
Schedule I and II – Up to 20-year prison sentence, and/or fines of up to $25,000 for each charge
Hallucinogenic drugs – Up to 20-year prison sentence, and/or fines of up to $20,000 for each charge
Other drugs – Up to 5-year prison sentence, and/or fines of up to $15,000 for each charge
In addition, Maryland has a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence and/or fines to $100,000 for the following possession amounts-
Marijuana – 50 pounds
Cocaine – 448 grams
Crack (cocaine) – 50 grams
Opiates – 1 ounce
LSD – 1000 “doses”
PCP – 1 pound
Methamphetamine – 448 grams
Understanding your rights during a drug arrest in Maryland
If you are arrested for drug possession, either simple or with the intent to distribute, it is important to understand your rights. You have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent under the Miranda rights, and it is important to understand that anything that is said or occurs during the arrest will factor into your defense. Your drug crime attorney will need to understand everything about your case in order to facilitate the best defense and determine the best course of action during your trial.
Hiring a Drug Crime Attorney in Maryland
Hiring the right defense attorney for your drug charges in Maryland is important for getting the best outcomes in your case. The Flynn Law Firm PLLC focuses on drug charges of all types, and will work with you to determine the best approach for the ideal outcome for your situation. Contact us today for a free consultation.