Aggravating Penalties in Anne Arundel Drug Cases

Most people do not weigh the aggravating penalties in an Anne Arundel drug case when they are committing the crime. Many people that are caught are caught because someone else names them in the case. For example, someone else was caught selling something and bringing it into the state. These people often then end up giving up the names of the other people involved. Further, an individual’s name may come up in the course of an investigation.

That is how many cases develop. As the aggravating penalties begin to build up in an Anne Arundel drug charge, it is pertinent that an individual contact an attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to help lessen any aggravating factors in an Anne Arundel drug charge, and assist in producing a successful outcome on behalf of their client.

Investigating the Crime

When law enforcement is looking for someone who may be committing a drug crime, they are looking for things that have distinguishable characteristics to them such as sealed marijuana in small packs, small disposable gel caps as a quick way to transport drugs, and similar elements. Some people may discard items such as these when they know they are under investigation for a drug charge. However, this does not always prevent a charge, and can be an aggravating penalty of an Anne Arundel drug charge.

The police have not changed much in the way that they do their investigations. They often perform the most basic elemental things they always have, often uncovering some sort of aggravating penalty associated with an individual’s drug charge.

Determining the Elements of the Charge

After being charged with a drug crime and to understand any aggravating factors associated with an Anne Arundel drug charge, an individual must contact a lawyer as soon as possible. When first contacting a lawyer, a lawyer will want to know:

  • Where the individual was
  • Where the incident occurred
  • Where did the person first contact the individual
  • How did this contact begin
  • Was there a warrant involved
  • What, if anything, was on the person at that time
  • If there was nothing on the person, did the individual search the vehicle or home

To best determine the elements and aggravating penalties associated with an Anne Arundel drug charge, an individual should not hesitate before consulting with a lawyer.

Fourth Amendment Issues

The Fourth Amendment plays an incredible role when discussing the aggravating penalties of an Anne Arundel drug charge. An experienced lawyer can help explain the role of the Fourth Amendment in such cases. Each courthouse, and each judge, have distinguishing differences between them that an experienced lawyer will best be able to use to their advantage when defending a drug charge.

An attorney will look at the Fourth Amendment right that could be violated, and if it is, in fact, an unreasonable search and seizure, the lawyer could raise that issue. They will bring forward that issue in court and argue that it is not proper, the police did not follow procedure, and the person’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated. They will insist that anything found should be thrown out and suppressed.

If the judge agrees, then the individual has the potential to win the case. If the individual does not win, then a lessening of the penalty leading to a smaller charge may be possible. In some cases, a crime may be lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor charge. The penalties can remain the same but, generally, they are reduced and an individual is not branded as a felon on their record. Once someone is found guilty, the ability to expunge the charge is gone.

Factors Influencing Severity

Quantity plays a unique role in aggravating the severity of penalties in Anne Arundel drug cases. It depends on weight of the drug and how much was there to be found. Is it a large quantity or is it not? If someone looks at the penalties for trafficking and a person weighs them out in kilograms, anything that is 45 kilograms or less is a felony that carries 10 years. If it is more than 45 kilograms, it is going to carry 25 years. Other factors include if someone has a firearm with them as well, as there is a mandatory minimum of five years that comes with it.

The schedule of the drug also affects it. The higher the schedule, the worse it is. Schedule I is the highest, then II, III, IV, and V being the minimum. If it is a higher-level scheduled drug, then a person will find that the penalties are not as harsh except with marijuana. Marijuana is treated differently than the others. Also with marijuana, if it is less than 50 pounds or more than 50 pounds matters.

Crime Committed

The crime itself, who commits a crime, and what crime it is are also important in dictating the severity of the penalty.  A person has to take into consideration how much of the substance has been found, and what schedule it is.

Possession on its own versus possession with intent to distribute can carry very different penalties, so it is important to note which is occurring. For instance, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute is five years for both a misdemeanor and a felony charge.

Location of the Crime

If someone is in school or is found on school property, or if they are around minors, then the aggravating penalties will increase. If someone is facing marijuana possession with the intent to distribute, for example, and it involves a minor, it is a felony with 20 years of incarcerable time.

If the crime occurs at a school, by a school vehicle, or within a thousand feet of elementary or secondary school, an individual faces two to five years in jail. Two of those years are absolutely mandatory.

Importance of Legal Representation

To become more familiar with the potential aggravating penalties of an Anne Arundel drug crime, an individual should call an attorney if they are charged with anything related to a drug offense. An individual has certain rights in situations like this, such as the right to representation and the right against unreasonable search and seizure.

If someone has a lawyer that is familiar with how to argue these cases, what to argue, and what certain judges value as good arguments, they can suppress evidence and help produce a successful result in court.