Carroll County CDS Possession Lawyer
Law enforcement officials in Carroll County frequently refer to possession of illegal drugs as “CDS” possession. The initials stand for “controlled dangerous substances.” With the exception of marijuana, possession of even small amounts of controlled substances may be penalized with substantial jail time and heavy fines. Moreover, possession of certain amounts of CDS may be considered evidence of possession with intent to distribute, tremendously increasing the potential penalties.
To protect your rights and understand your options, it is wise to consult knowledgeable Carroll County CDS possession lawyer if you are facing drug possession charges in Carroll County. An experienced drug attorney who understands how to defend against drug charges could help you work toward a positive outcome in your situation.
What the Law Says About CDS Possession
Md. Code, Crim. Law §5-601 makes it a crime to “possess or administer to another a controlled dangerous substance, unless obtained directly or by prescription or order from an authorized provider acting in the course of professional practice.” The statute also prohibits obtaining controlled dangerous substances by fraudulent means.
The concept of possession itself may not be as straightforward as many people believe. Someone carrying drugs could certainly be said to possess them. But legally, people may be found to have constructive possession over items that are not in immediate physical proximity to their bodies.
The key issue is whether someone exercises dominion and control over the item. For instance, someone may be considered to have possession over drugs found in the glove compartment of their car, or in their dresser drawer.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
Possession of CDS can sometimes lead to the more serious charge of possession with intent to distribute. This offense is penalized as severely as actual distribution of CDS.
Specifically, Md. Code, Crim. Law §5-602 prohibits possession of a CDS “in sufficient quantity reasonably to indicate under all circumstances an intent to distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance.” The law does not specify what that quantity might be, which allows law enforcement officials certain leeway in charging this serious crime.
Moreover, possession of very large quantities of drugs is penalized as a major felony under Md. Code, Crim. Law §5-612. Presumably, these strong penalties are based on the assumption that possession of such quantities indicates the manufacture or intent to distribute CDS.
Penalties for Possession of CDS
The penalties for CDS possession will depend to a certain degree on the quantity of the substance, the type of substance, and the existence of prior offenses. Maximum penalties include:
- Less than 10 grams of marijuana, first offense – $100 fine
- Less than 10 grams of marijuana, subsequent offense – $250-$500 fine
- Quantity for personal use of 10 grams or more of marijuana- six months of imprisonment and $1000 fine
- Quantities of other CDS for personal use, first offense – one year of imprisonment and $5,000 fine
- Quantities of other CDS for personal use, second or third offense – 18 months of imprisonment and $5,000 fine
- Quantities of other CDS for personal use, fourth or subsequent offense – two years of imprisonment and $5,000 fine
- Quantities indicating an intent to distribute – five years of imprisonment and $15,000 fine
- Quantities over the limits set forth in Md. Code, Crim. Law §5-612 – minimum five years of imprisonment and $100,000 fine
Even in situations where the penalties seem to be minimal, it is important to remember that a conviction or guilty plea creates a record of the offense which could appear in background checks for years to come.
Consult with a Carroll County CDS Possession Attorney Today
Many people in Carroll County believe it is not worth the investment of time and energy to fight a simple drug possession charge. From a long term perspective, however, it may be impossible to fully gauge the value of protecting your reputation.
If you are facing any possession charges, you owe it to yourself to consult an experienced Carroll County CDS possession lawyer to learn your options.
Furthermore, if you are potentially facing charges involving intent to distribute, it is wise to secure legal representation as soon as possible. To start working toward a positive outcome in your case, call now for a consultation.