Types of Drug Crimes in Maryland | Maryland Drug Laws
If you are charged with drug charges in Maryland, it is crucial to understand how they are classified so that you can take the right course of action.
Here are all the types of drug crimes in Maryland that you can be charged with and how a drug crime lawyer can help you get the best plea deal for your case.
Paraphernalia charges in Maryland
Drug paraphernalia is a broad term used to describe any kind of equipment or material that can be used to grow, process, store, conceal, transport, or use drugs.
User-specific devices include items such as prescription bottles used for storing drugs; pipes and hookahs used for smoking; spoons and syringes used for administering drugs; and small bags commonly referred to as “stash bags.” Either of these may be used as evidence to prove paraphernalia in court.
An arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia may also lead to an additional charge for possession of the controlled substance it was intended for. For instance, possession of cocaine-smoking pipes may be charged as both drug paraphernalia and cocaine possession if it can be proven that the device was intended for use with cocaine.
Penalty – Drug paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland. For first-time offenders, the fine is up to $500 whereas, for repeat offenders, it could be up to $2,000 along with up to 2 years of prison time. In case the drug paraphernalia is associated with marijuana, the offender can prove their case and walk away with a fine of $100.
Drug Possession charges in Maryland
Possession refers to having drugs in your possession. For example, if the police find marijuana in your pocket, you are automatically charged with possession.
Drug possession is considered quite a serious crime because it indicates that the accused may have active participation in drug distribution. If you are arrested, however, you may be offered a deal or plea bargain to reduce your charges or sentence.
Penalty – The penalty for drug possession varies depending on what type of drugs are involved and the state in which the drug crime occurred. For example, in Maryland, where medical marijuana is legal under state law, the penalty for the charges may not be as severe as it would if a more dangerous drug like cocaine were involved. Usually, the accused will be asked to pay up to $1,000 as a fine before being released.
In more serious cases of drug possession, the accused can be charged up to $25,000 in fine along with up to 4 years in prison.
Remember that drug possession is a crime that does not require the person to have actually sold, given away, or otherwise distribute any illegal substance. The police may arrest the person for simple possession on the basis of a tip from a confidential informant, a drug dog’s alert on belongings, or on a search warrant.
Manufacturing drugs charges
Manufacturing is the process of creating a drug, like making meth or growing marijuana. This is also called “cultivation.” To be convicted of manufacturing, the government must prove that you either planted, cultivated, harvested, or created a drug. Manufacturing can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the type of drug in question.
Bear in mind that drug manufacturing is different from drug paraphernalia because the case for the latter is made on the basis of material evidence whereas, in manufacturing, the charges require proof of cultivation.
Penalty – Manufacturing drugs is a serious offense, so it could attract a fine of anywhere between $20,000 to $25,000, again depending on the type of drug that’s involved in the case. If convicted, the accused may also be sentenced to up to 20 years of imprisonment.
drug Trafficking charges in maryland
Drug trafficking, in most cases, is a felony. It is the sale or distribution of illegal drugs for personal gain or profit. It is also buying or selling drugs with the intent to sell them.
This can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the amount of drugs involved and the level of criminal history. When dealing with large amounts of drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, trafficking charges may be filed.
Penalty – Typically, drug trafficking sentences are longer than other drug crimes. If you are convicted of drug trafficking, you could face up to a lifetime in prison and a hefty fine. This is why working with professional drug crimes lawyers in Maryland is important.
To be charged with drug trafficking, the prosecutor must prove that you are selling drugs on a larger-than-personal scale. That being said, the court may still convict you for drug importation and drug possession if the prosecutor is unable to prove their case.
maryland Drug Dealing charges
Drug dealing is slightly different from trafficking in that it involves selling and distributing drugs on a smaller scale – typically less than 50 grams of controlled substances.
Even though the volume of drugs involved is low, drug dealing is a serious criminal charge. Depending on the classification of drugs and the amount possessed, a defendant can receive a fine or a long-term prison sentence.
Penalty – If convicted, the accused can face up to 10 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 as a fine, depending on the nature of the case.
How to deal with a drug crime charge
If you are arrested for possession of illegal drugs, you may be concerned about the consequences. Right so! Since drug charges are taken very seriously, you need to act quickly.
First off, dealing with drug crime charges on your own is not recommended. You need to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest. The best drug defense lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether. But for that to happen, you ought to get in touch with a drug attorney as soon as you learn about the charges to give them enough time to study your case and help you with it.
Remember that the facts in an arrest report may seem overwhelming at first. Only an experienced attorney who specializes in drug crimes can help you sort through them and provide advice on how to proceed.
If you have been charged in Maryland, consider opting for a local drug charge attorney as they will not only be familiar with local prosecutors and judges but also know the state laws, plea deals, and sentencing recommendations for cases like yours.