Howard County Drug Attorney
Drug charges in Howard County are a serious matter and the laws in Maryland regarding drug offenses can result in harsh penalties. If this is not your first offense, or if the amount that you are charged with possessing is particularly large, the penalties will be even greater. A skilled Howard County drug lawyer knows the Maryland drug laws and the local courts, and he can explore ways to reduce the charges against you and will seek the best-possible results. That may include arguing to have the charges dismissed or reduced, fighting the case in court or, if you are convicted, working to mitigate any potential damage caused by your conviction.
Seth Okin is precisely that kind of attorney. He will aggressively pursue every avenue available in your defense, and he will not rest until he has earned optimal results. Contact a Howard County drug lawyer today to find out more about how an attorney can defend against your specific charges. For a general understanding of the risks and penalties involved in most drug-related offenses, please use this page as a guide.
Maryland Drug Statutes
Conviction of possession of ten grams or less of marijuana in Howard County will result in a fine up to $500, and jail time up to 90 days. If the amount is greater than ten grams (up to 50 pounds), you may be fined up to $1,000 and receive up to one year in jail. Possession is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland (MD CODE Section 5-601(c)(2)).
Possession of marijuana, with intent to distribute, is considered a felony. The penalty for possession with intent to distribute, in Maryland, is a maximum term of five years and a fine up to $15,000 (MD CODE Section 5-607(a)).
Marijuana trafficking in the amount of 5 – 45 kilograms is also a felony in Maryland, and the charge carries a risk of ten years imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. If the amount is more than 45 kilograms, the penalty increases to 25 years and up to $50,000 (MD. CODE Section 5-614(a)).
Possession of paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland, and can result in a fine of $500. Selling paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, thought it can still result in up to two years behind bars and a fine up to $2,000 (MD. CODE Section 5-619 (d)(2)).
Possession of other drugs and narcotics — such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, LSD, and crystal meth — in Maryland is considered a misdemeanor, with a penalty up to four years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000, or both.
Transporting up to 28 grams of drugs and narcotics into the state of Maryland is classified as a felony and can result in a fine up to $50,000, and up to 25 years in prison. If this is a second or third offense, the penalty will be greater.
Manufacturing, selling, or distributing drugs, like LSD or PCP, can result in sentences up to 20 years, and a fine up to $20,000. Making, selling or distributing Schedule I or II narcotics may result in up to 20 years confinement, and up to a $25,000 fine.
Drug kingpin charges in Howard County are extremely serious and carry the harshest penalties. A drug kingpin is someone who organizes, supervises, or finances, a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or bring drugs into the state of Maryland. This is considered a felony in Maryland and the minimum sentence is 20 years, with a 40-year maximum sentence possible. The fine can be as high as $1 million (MD CODE Section 5-613(d)).
What to Look for in a Howard County Drug Lawyer
If you have been charged with a drug-related offense in Howard County, you will need the services of a dedicated Howard County drug attorney, one who not only has extensive experience defending clients against drug offenses but who also has a successful track record and who is familiar with the local courts. Drug charges are common, and far too many people find themselves cast off by the court and prosecutors and just another addict or someone not worth their time. You want a defense attorney who is as passionate about your rights and your reputation as you are, and who will fight aggressively to defend your record.
Evidence of the staggering number of individuals who find they have become just another casualty in the “war on drugs” is not hard to find. In 2012 there were a total of 49,535 drug-related arrests in Maryland, and the state has one of the highest marijuana arrest rates in the United States.
An effective criminal defense attorney understands firsthand how these statistics play out in court cases every day, and he will be best-suited to either fighting the charges or, if that’s not possible, mitigating the damage by pushing for the dismissal or reduced charges, subsequently, the penalties you may face. Your Howard County drug lawyer will understand all the variations that exist in Maryland’s drug laws, and how the court system works. Using that experience and knowledge, he will be able to guide you through the process, every step of the way.
That includes examining all the facts of your case and the search for errors or missteps on the part of the authorities. Such errors can provide a possibility for the reduction, or outright elimination, of the charges. That includes raising questions regarding the possession allegation. Did the drug in question belong to you? Was the material in your control? Did the arresting officer follow correct procedure when the substance was discovered and seized? Were you charged with selling drugs? Was your intent to sell, or to use? There may be an argument to be made that you were in possession of a drug, but did not intend to sell the drug.
Drug Sentencing Alternatives
Probation is a possibility in many drug cases and a skilled attorney can negotiate for other sentencing alternatives, including time spent in an addiction treatment facility as opposed to jail. Allowing for probation and drug treatment is not only a benefit to you, it is in the best interest of the community and courts as it is more cost-effective than incarceration and is more likely to produce successful results and break the cycle of recidivism.
A Howard County Drug Lawyer Can Help
A dedicated criminal defense attorney also understands that your case does not end when the jury or judge reaches a verdict. The lasting consequences of a criminal record can be devastating, making it next to impossible for you to secure employment, housing, loans and other crucial needs. You attorney will continue to work to protect your rights and reputation by requesting that any convictions on your record be expunged and working with the court to clear your name so that you can begin to rebuild your life.
Seth Okin and the attorneys he works with understand this is a trying time and they understand the seriousness of these charges. A simple mistake can follow you for the rest of your life. The trial alone can place tremendous stress on you and your family. Mr. Okin will not stop until he has secured you the best possible resolution to you case. Call his Maryland law offices today a free initial consultation.