Maryland Drug Lawyer
In Maryland, you can be charged with a drug crime if you have a controlled substance in your possession. You can also be charged if you have drug paraphernalia. A Maryland drug lawyer can provide you with legal help if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug offense.
Controlled Substances in Maryland
Maryland Criminal Code Section 5-102 defines a controlled substance to include any drug listed in Schedule I through Schedule V. These “schedules” are different categories of drugs, with Schedule I substances considered more dangerous than Schedule IV substances.
- Code Section 5-402 lists Schedule I substances, which include alphameprodine; heroin and other opium derivatives; marijuana; mescaline; and peyote. These substances have a high risk of addiction, are considered dangerous, and have no medicinal purpose.
- Code Section 5-403 lists Schedule II substances including raw opium, hydrocodone, morphine, and opium poppies. These substances are considered to be addictive and high-risk, but they may have a recognized medical benefit.
- Code Section 5-404 lists Schedule III substances, which include methenolone and clortermine.
- Code Section 5-405 lists Schedule IV substances, which include camazepam and triazolam.
- Code Section 5-406 lists Schedule V substances, which include up to 200 MG of codeine per 100 grams, as well as smaller amounts of dihydrocodeine and ethylmorphine.
A Maryland drug lawyer can help you to determine whether law enforcement and police officers correctly classified the substances you are accused of having in your possession. Sometimes, lab test results are imperfect, evidence handling rules are not followed, or samples of narcotics are contaminated. If this is the case, you can raise doubts about whether you had the narcotics the prosecutor claims.
Drug Crimes in Maryland
You can be charged with a crime in Maryland for:
- Possessing or administering controlled substances under Code Section 5-601.
- Distributing, dispensing, or possessing controlled substances with intent to distribute under Code Section 5-602.
- Possessing equipment to produce or manufacture a controlled substance under Code Section 5-603.
- Possessing drug paraphernalia under Code Section 5-619.
Possession can mean having a controlled substance under your control, including having the substance in your home or vehicle. Intent to distribute can be inferred simply because you have a “sufficient quantity” to reasonably indicate an intent to sell the drug, even if there’s no clear proof you actually sold it.
Penalties for Maryland Drug Crimes
Penalties are more severe for distributing, dispensing, or manufacturing controlled substances than for simply having drugs in your possession. Penalties also become progressively harsher based on the schedule of the drug, with the most serious penalties for a Schedule I drug and the least serious for a Schedule V substance.
For possession of many controlled substances, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and face imprisonment for up to four years under Code Section 5-601. However, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana will result in a maximum of 90 days in jail and a fine up to $500.00.
Distributing, dispensing, or possessing certain controlled substances with intent to distribute can result in penalties of up to five years under Code Section 5-607. However, if the drug is a Schedule I or Schedule II narcotic, you could face up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine up to $25,000 according to Code Section 5-608.
Because there are so many variables when it comes to penalties, it is a good idea to talk to a Maryland drug lawyer about the possible consequences if convicted of drug charges.
How a Maryland Drug Lawyer Can Help
In many cases, evidence of drugs is found in an illegal search. If police violated your Fourth Amendment rights, a Maryland drug lawyer can ask the court to have the evidence suppressed. If a prosecutor couldn’t present it in trial, he might have to drop the charges. If there isn’t sufficient evidence, your attorney could also ask the court to dismiss the case.
This is just one option for responding to drug charges. A Maryland drug lawyer will help you to decide if you should plead guilty and try for a reduced sentence, or if you should go to court and try to convince the jury a prosecutor hasn’t proved you guilty. Contact an attorney today to learn more.