Cecil County CDS Possession Lawyer

Possession of a controlled dangerous substance or CDS is a criminal offense commonly charged in Cecil County. But common does not equal minor. Penalties for CDS possession may be severe, particularly if the quantity involved is sufficient for the prosecution to argue that the person involved intended to distribute the substance.

Those in Cecil County facing any charges involving drug possession are advised to contact an experienced Cecil County CDS possession lawyer for advice. A knowledgeable drug attorney could work to protect rights and build the best possible defense to fight the charges.

Marijuana is Still Considered a Controlled, Dangerous Substance

Despite changes in the law reducing penalties for possession of very small amounts of marijuana, the substance is still considered a CDS, and possession of ten grams or more is treated a criminal offense. Even possession of fewer than ten grams remains a recordable offense, though classified as a civil offense rather than criminal.

Moreover, possession of larger amounts could give rise to the more serious crime of possession with intent to distribute.  Md. Code, Crim. Law §5-602 states that someone may not “possess a controlled dangerous substance in sufficient quantity reasonably to indicate under all circumstances an intent to distribute.” The statute does not specify what that quantity should be.

However, the code lays out extremely severe penalties for possession of 50 pounds or more of marijuana. So, in terms of penalties, those found to possess less than ten grams may only be required to pay a fine between $100-500. Those found with more, but not enough to trigger a charge of intent to distribute may be imprisoned for up to six months and fined up to $1000.  Meanwhile, those with greater quantities may be sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, or much more for a volume dealer. Someone charged with a CDS-related offense should speak with a reliable Cecil County CDS possession attorney before issuing a statement to the police.

Penalties for Possession of Other CDS

Possession of controlled dangerous substances other than marijuana is treated as a criminal offense even if the quantity of drugs involved is quite small.  Those found guilty of possession may be fined as much as $5,000.

In addition, convictions may also result in a term of imprisonment. First time offenders may be sentenced to a year in jail. For a second or third offense, the maximum sentence increases to 18 months. As a Cecil County attorney could further explain, those convicted of CDS possession four or more times may be sentenced to two years of incarceration. As with marijuana, possession of larger amounts of CDS may be taken as a sign of intent to distribute, which is a felony offense.

Constructive Possession

Someone may be legally considered to possess something even if they are not touching it or are not in immediate proximity to it. This is known as constructive possession.

If a person exercises dominion and control over an article, the law may consider them to be in possession of that article. So, while an item may not be within reach, if it is in place they control such as a handbag or trunk of a car, then a court may find that the person had possession of the item. Besides exercising dominion and control, constructive possession of CDS requires that the person had notice that the substance was in that location and that it was illegal.

Talk to a Cecil County CDS Possession Attorney Today

Possession of CDS may be legalized at some point in the future, but as of right now, it remains a criminal offense. Even if a violation does not result in jail time, it can still have consequences that cause difficulties for years to come.

If you are facing charges involving CDS possession, you may want to consider speaking with a knowledgeable Cecil County CDS possession lawyer to learn the ramifications and options for defense. Assistance from an attorney who understands how local courts prosecute CDS possession could help you protect your rights and your future. Call now.