Maryland Drug Penalties
The drug laws in Maryland are substantially harsher than many of the surrounding states. They are very strict, even on a first offense. The drug law enforcement works diligently to convict every person caught with illegal drugs. However, if it is marijuana, it is handled distinctly different, but with regards to most other drugs, treatment is a focus.
Due to the harshness of the possible punishments, if you are facing penalties for illegal substance charges in Maryland, it is imperative that you consult with a qualified drug lawyer as soon as possible, so they can begin building a defense early on.
Severity of Potential Penalties Between First Time and Repeat Offenses
During a drug case in Maryland, the judge will look at the number of convictions when deciding what the severity of the penalty will be. Very fairly, the prior adult conviction is put into a matrix. They start from one and go all the way up. Depending on where the person is, it will determine if the person has a mandatory minimum sentence. Major records usually have five points, moderate records just three, and minors have one or zero.
The determination of where the person’s sentencing range starts is at the bottom end. If the person’s offense score is low (zero to one), the person is looking at probation. If the person is going from, P to zero (probation or zero) it is a suspended sentence. From there, categories pick up. If a person has a prior offense, it can go from P to six months, P to two years, and P to three years. If the person steps one over in terms of the offender’s score, the probation starts to disappear. Once the person gets to an offense score that hits three, the person is looking at a minimum recommendation of three months to a year.
From there it is not exactly the easiest thing to figure out. That is why an attorney is so important. If the person has priors, factors such as where they occurred, what were they about, do they involve prior drug-related offenses, or are they another felony or small misdemeanor, come into effect.
Marijuana Potential Punishments
In possession of marijuana cases, the offender’s score comes with a three. However, it does not have an offense score, which means that the person’s guideline on a second criminal offense is usually much lower than something that would have an assault or a theft. The person is looking at the different parts of the puzzle as they start to put them in. It is an exceptionally detailed way of looking at what a potential charge could carry. The guarantee is if the person had a prior, the subsequent is going to gain more in terms of strength to get the person sentenced.
In these drugs cases, the crime itself will be looked and then factors such as how they came about the person, was it innocent, do they have a problem, is it personal, and is it something that they will successfully find treatment. It is now preferred that everyone goes through treatment.
Treatment programs are endorsed at every level and every step of the way, because it keeps the person out of jail, keeps the person employed, and keeps the person with their family.
Contacting an Attorney
Maryland drug penalties can be very severe and the courts can be very intimidating. Having an experienced drug attorney representing you is extremely beneficial in many ways. They know the in’s and out’s of the Maryland judicial system as well as have a vast knowledge of the laws.