What is a drug charge? When are you charged with? If a person is caught in the possession of illegal drugs, then he/she can be charged of drug charges. The penalty and the punishment of the charge might differ with the amount and the kind of drug that the person is carrying. After the possession of certain amount of drugs, the police imbibe that the person is also involved in distribution of the drug as well. So there are two conditions in the drug charges – one is possession and consumption and the other is possession and distribution.
The Amounts and the drugs
Maryland drug possession law is very clear and the quantity of various drugs and the punishments for it. Here are some for which you can be charged under the court of law:
- 45 kg of Marijuana
- 28 g of cocaine
- Mix that contains at least 28 g of cocaine
- 4 g of opium or its derivatives
- 1000 dosage units of lysergic acid diethylamide
- 28 g of phencyclidine
- 112 g of mix with phencyclidine in it
- 1000 dosage of methaqualone
- 28 g of methamphetamine
- 4 g of fentanyl or fentanyl analogue
If you are charged of possessing these drugs in the given amounts, then your punishment could be severe. You would need a good lawyer to defend against these charges. The circumstances under which you were found in possession of these drugs and the intention would need to be outlined. Possession and/or distribution of drugs are seen as a social crime and hence taken seriously in the state of Maryland.
There might be conditions under which certain amounts could be allowed by the state law, but it is very necessary for you to know about the charges and the conditions. It is vital that for cases related to drugs, you hire an experienced and trustworthy criminal lawyer to defend your case or to inform you about the law. Once proven, it might be difficult for the lawyer to defend your position, so it is very necessary that you consult a professional early on. Getting exceptions and the reasons for it could be outlined by your lawyer.
Just like any other state, Maryland has harsh penalties that are aimed at dissuading residents from using drugs and distributing them. Here are some of drug laws and penalties:
Although drug possession (10g-50 pounds) in Maryland is treated as a misdemeanor, the jail sentence is more severe than for most misdemeanors. For the misdemeanor offense, you attract a jail term of up to one year and a fine of $1,000.
If you are caught in possession of more than 50 pounds of drugs you are treated as a felon and you attract a jail term of 5 years and a fine of $100,000.
If you are found in possession of drugs that are less than 10 g, the case is treated as civil and you can’t serve a jail term for it. However, you have to pay a fine of $100.
Regardless of the amount of drug that you are arrested with, you should seek your right to have a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
Intent to distribute
If you are arrested with the intent of distributing drugs you risk going to jail or paying a heavy fine. The charges depend on the amount of drug that you are caught with. For example, if you are found in possession of 50 pounds of marijuana you are charged with a felony and you stand to spend 5 years in jail and a fine not exceeding $15,000.
If you are caught with more than 50 pounds of marijuana you stand to serve a punishment of not less than 5 years in jail and a fine not exceeding $100,000.
If you are found to be a drug kingpin you are guilty of a felony and you are subject to a jail term of not less than 20 years and a fine not exceeding $1,000,000.
If you are a drugs repeat offender (of marijuana) you must serve a mandatory two years in jail. Other drugs such as cocaine, LSD, PCP and heroin attract mandatory 10 years behind bars. When you are arrested as a drug repeat offender you aren’t eligible for parole and the judge can’t suspend any portion of your sentence.
What to do when you are arrested for drug possession
Even if you are arrested with drugs it doesn’t mean that you should serve a jail term or pay the fine. The best way of going about it is calling a drug charges lawyer who will analyze the case and try to find any fault lines that he/she can use to secure your freedom.