What It’s Like Facing Serious Drug Charges – 5 Tips to Handle the Process

Types of Drug Crimes in Maryland | Maryland Drug Laws

A drug charge can have a significant impact on your life, both socially and legally. The fear of the consequences makes it difficult for you to think clearly when in such positions. Many suspects are afraid that their professional and personal life will face serious repercussions if found guilty despite taking steps to avoid any negative outcome.

According to Drug Policy Facts, of the total estimated arrests made for drug law violations in 2020 in the United States, about 86% were for possessing a controlled substance.

Here are 5 tips to handle the process if you face serious drug charges.

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Hire a Criminal Defense Or Drug Crimes Lawyer

Andrew SallerWhen you’re booked, hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Communicate with your drug crimes lawyer during police interrogations and hearings. He or she will help negotiate serious drug charges against you so that everything goes smoothly in court.

If have been charged with drug possession in Baltimore, it’s important to have a good Baltimore lawyer on your side, who knows the law thoroughly. The best drug crimes lawyers know how to handle cases like these and can help defend anyone who has a drug charge against him/her. These could be related to possession, distribution, or sale.

Keep in mind that if an officer or law enforcement has wrongfully searched you, this matter can be highlighted by your Baltimore lawyer. Such unlawful actions include not being read your rights, and refraining from having access to an attorney. It could also be discrimination on grounds of race, gender, location of residence, etc.

If you are investigated for drug possession in Baltimore, make sure any such incident is shared with your attorney.

Know About The Types of Substances

The US government has banned many different types of drugs that can have an adverse effect on your mental health. These narcotics are called “controlled substances.” The Controlled Substances Act classifies these under various schedules. These include synthetic and natural forms. The classification is as below –

  • Class I Drugs like marijuana, LSD, heroin, and peyote.
  • Class II Drugs like Demerol, methadone, Dilaudid, OxyContin, and hydrocodone.
  • Class III Drugs like Suboxone, Tylenol, ketamine, and anabolic steroids.
  • Class IV Drugs like Soma, Xanax, Valium, Halcion, Klonopin, Restoril, and Ativan.
  • Class V drugs like cough syrups containing codeine.

Know About the Types of Offenses

Drug Possession

criminal defense attorneyIf you possess substances in Schedules 1, 2, and 3, you are in conflict with the law. However, authorized persons are exempted from it. The amount of drugs possessed does not really matter.

According to the courts, the substances should be measurable, visible, and tangible. Thus, you cannot be guilty under Schedule 1 of the Act if they find traces of cocaine on your bag.

Drug Trafficking

Trafficking of substances in Schedules 1 to 4 is prohibited by the substance Act. This also includes presenting something to be a narcotic. However, if someone buys a narcotic, it will not be included under trafficking.

If you transfer a substance, it will be counted as trafficking. It also includes transportation if you move a substance for the purpose of sale/distribution.

The Proof

The certificate of an analyst is of value. Your attorney must provide notice about his intention to issue such documents. You must have a photocopy in case anything happens along the way and it gets lost or destroyed by mistake.

Charges and Defenses of a Drug Charge in Baltimore

criminal defense attorneyThe possession of cocaine has some pretty severe penalties, but it’s not the only drug that causes concern. Marijuana is also illegal in many states and can bring with them their own set punishment depending on what kind you’re caught for.

The penalties range from community service hours to prolonged prison sentences. There’s no minimum sentence for narcotics offenses. The drug possessions laws provided by the Act differ accordingly.

Drug Possession Charge

Possession of Schedule 1 substances may result in 7 years in prison. For Schedule 2 drugs, it is generally 5 years. However, small amounts of cannabis have six months imprisonment. The possession of class III substances can put you in prison for 3 years.

Drug Trafficking Charge

Trafficking of Schedules 1 and 2 drugs incurs life imprisonment. For cannabis, the penalty is 5 years in prison. Schedule 3 substances will incur a maximum of 10 years in prison. Schedule 6 substances may lead to 3 years imprisonment.

Drug Production Charge

The production of class 1 and 2 drugs has life imprisonment as the penalty. The penalty for producing cannabis, however, is 7 years in prison. The penalty for narcotic production included in Schedule 4 is imprisonment for 3 years.

Drug Import and Export Charge

Importing or exporting class 1 and 2 drugs have life imprisonment as the penalty. For substances in Schedule 3, it is up to 10 years in prison. Schedules 4 and 5 drugs incur 3 years imprisonment.

The Defenses

In some cases, it may be possible to raise a defense of a mistake of fact. This means that instead of raising an intentional ignorance argument, you can claim there were honest mistakes made during questioning which led to those discrepancies.

For instance, if someone says they did not know drugs had been mixed with something else. At no time you should have known that the substances are illegal. Since possession is defined as the knowledge required to carry out an action, such a defense can be possible given this definition. It is regarded that some sort of expertise is required to count one’s actions as possessions.

Conclusion

You may think that the worst is here when facing serious drug charges. However, you shouldn’t drop your guard and allow law enforcement bodies to overpower the investigation.

A qualified Baltimore lawyer will not only be able to help make sure everything goes smoothly in court, but they can also protect all legal rights if you are going through a trial for drug possession in Baltimore. This can give you the best chance at a favorable outcome for your case. If you have serious drug charges against you, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible.

An experienced drug crimes attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of action.

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