Annapolis Drug Lawyer
Crimes involving the possession, distribution, and manufacture of illegal drugs are perhaps the most common charges brought into Maryland’s criminal courts. However, recent changes to Maryland criminal laws have eliminated mandatory minimum sentences for the mere possession of an illegal substance and have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana entirely. Still, people who are charged with the distribution of illegal drugs are subject to felony prosecution with harsh penalties.
Annapolis drug lawyers are familiar with the recent changes to Maryland drug law. They work to protect the freedoms of individuals when they are faced with any drug-related charges, regardless of the severity. Contact a professional attorney today to see what you can do about your situation.
Maryland’s Drug Laws
Maryland is one of the states that has lessened the potential punishments for drug-related crimes. Being convicted of the mere possession of any drug no longer carries a required jail sentence. Starting October 1, 2017, new laws go into the books that carry more lenient penalties for drug offenses. Still, these laws carry the potential for jail terms for most drug-related crimes.
The core of the drug possession laws, Maryland Code 5-601, states that a conviction of a person possessing a controlled substance will result in up to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000.00 or both. This is a marked drop from the up to four years that people previously faced. In addition, the mere possession of a small amount of marijuana is no longer a criminal act. Maryland Code 5-601 section (a)(ii), states that possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is a civil offense punishable by a fine of no more than $100.00.
Any possession of any amount of marijuana over 10 grams is still a misdemeanor crime according to Maryland Code 5-601 section (2(i). A conviction under this statute calls for up to 6 months in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000. Despite the reduction in penalties for people who possess illegal drugs, the distribution of these drugs is still punished severely. Maryland Code 5-608 states that a person who is convicted of illegally distributing an illegal substance is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years and a fine of up to $15,000. Talk to an Annapolis drug lawyer if there are more questions.
Whether a person is distributing drugs can be inferred by any number of pieces of circumstantial evidence, even if the police do not actually witness the crime. If a person is arrested with a large amount of drugs on their person or a large stack of cash, they will be assumed to be actively selling the items.
In addition, if a warrant reveals large amounts of drugs, packaging materials, or proceeds from sales, the police may be able to charge all the people in the location with distribution or even trafficking. In short, the amount of drugs found on a person is the main factor that determines which category of charges they will face.
Talk to an Annapolis Drug Attorney Today
Even with Maryland lightening their penalties for drug-related convictions, most charges still carry a potential for serious jail time and a mark on a person’s criminal record. While small amounts of marijuana are no longer considered criminal, even a small amount of a narcotic or opioid is enough to cause serious trouble.
Annapolis drug lawyers are familiar with the evolving laws concerning drug charges in Maryland. They work to examine the evidence, analyze any warrants or surveillance information, and question witnesses to give individuals the best chance for a positive outcome. Whether people are facing a charge of minor possession or trafficking, Annapolis drug attorneys are here to help.