Anne Arundel Drug Attorney
Drug charges have the potential to change your life, reputation, and, ultimately, your freedom. Due to the severe penalties associated with a conviction, facing charges for a drug-related offense in Anne Arundel County can be a scary experience. If you have been accused of a criminal offense involving drugs, having an experienced Anne Arundel County drug lawyer on your side to guide you through every step of the legal process can help protect you from the serious consequences that accompany a conviction.
Maryland drug laws are relatively straightforward but they can still be very damaging. Unlike some states, Maryland’s laws don’t prescribe a specific sentence for a certain quantity of an illegal substance. Instead, there are merely guidelines and your sentence is determined by the judge. The potential penalties for a conviction in Anne Arundel County can also change depending on the type of drug involved, whether it is marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin, prescription drugs, or some other substance. To learn more about the factors that can impact potential penalties in your case, contact an Anne Arundel drug lawyer.
Anne Arundel Drug Lawyers Can Help
With the help of a capable Anne Arundel drug attorney, you may be able to avoid jail time. Building a solid defense against the charges could potentially lead to an acquittal or a less severe penalty such as probation, especially if this is your first offense. The possibilities depend on the type of drug involved, how much of it there was, and whether or not the prosecution can prove that you intended to sell or distribute the substance. For first offenders there is even the possibility that if you successfully complete probation, the charge could be expunged.
There are several ways in which an experienced Anne Arundel drug lawyer can defend you from a drug charge, whether it is a felony or misdemeanor offense. An aggressive drug lawyer in Anne Arundel County will thoroughly examine all the aspects of your case, including the circumstances of the arrest, to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s claims. He can aggressively challenge evidence and negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to see if there is a possibility of having your charges reduced or dropped. Contact his law office today to schedule a free consultation if you have been charged with a drug offense in Anne Arundel County.
Drug Schedules in Anne Arundel County
Maryland classifies illegal drugs into five classes (schedules) of controlled dangerous substances. Schedule I includes the most dangerous drugs, which carry the highest probability of abuse or addiction and have no current medical application. Schedules II through V decrease in in terms of abuse risk and have more accepted medicinal uses. Though Maryland’s drug classifications generally follow the same system as the federal drug schedules, there are some deviations. Examples of Maryland’s drug schedules include:
- Schedule I – Heroin and other opiates, ecstasy and its many derivatives, hallucinogens, marijuana and hashish, and methaqualone
- Schedule II – Morphine, methadone, codeine, barbiturates, amphetamines, and cocaine
- Schedule III – Medications that contain small amounts of narcotics such as Tylenol #3, empirin, and codeine-based cough suppressants; medications containing small amounts of barbiturates such as florinal; and many anabolic steroids
- Schedule IV – Sedative/hypnotics such as Valium, Librium, triazolam; stimulants such as tenuate; and Darvocet
- Schedule V – Combinations that contain small amounts of any drug listed in Schedule II-IV such as codeine
How Are Drug Crimes Sentenced in Anne Arundel County?
Even on a first offense, if you are convicted of drug possession involving a substance that falls into Schedules I or II, the judge could potentially sentence you to several years in prison and a fine into the thousands of dollars depending on the quantity that you are alleged to have had in your possession at the time of arrest. If you are convicted of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I or II substance, the judge could sentence you to up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $25,000, which is the maximum for a serious drug distribution first offense.
For less dangerous drugs (Schedules III-V), these charges can land you in prison for up to five years and draw a fine of up to $15,000. For repeat offenders, there is a mandatory minimum of two years in prison.