Montgomery County Drug Lawyer
Under Title 5 of Maryland Criminal law, an individual can be found guilty of a variety of drug charges, ranging from minor to more serious. A Montgomery County drug lawyer can help with misdemeanor and felony drug charges. The statute Section 5-601 makes possessing, obtaining or attempting to possess or obtain a controlled dangerous substance unlawful. The subsection Section 5-601(a)(1) deals with other drugs. This means that you can be charged with a drug crime if you have:
- Morphine or opium
- Lysergic acid diethylamide
Types of Drug Charges in MoCo
Law enforcement in Montgomery County typically measure the severity of drug offenses by the amount of the substance in your possession. If you are accused of possessing a large quantity of drugs, police will assume that it was not for personal use, but to sell or distribute. You can be charged with a drug crime under Section 5-602 for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing a controlled substance.
Under this law, it is illegal to dispense or distribute a controlled substance. It is also unlawful to possess a controlled dangerous substance in large quantities with the intent to dispense or distribute.
There are other drug charges such as crimes involving possessing controlled dangerous substances and paraphernalia (subtitle 6) and prescription drugs.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Montgomery County drug lawyer.
Penalties for Drug Convictions in Montgomery County
Charges range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the amount of the drugs you possess. Challenging the amount of drugs you have in your possession will be your attorney’s priority. A marijuana conviction of possessing less than 10 grams is punishable by a civil citation and a fine of up to $500. If you are convicted of having more than 10 grams of marijuana, you face one year in jail. The fine doubles to $1,000.
The penalties for manufacturing and possessing with the intent to sell or distribute are categorized under Section 5-605 to 609 and section Section 5-612. The penalties depend on the drugs you’re convicted of possessing, manufacturing or selling:
- 20 years in prison plus a $25,000 fine for Schedule I and II drugs.
- 20 years in prison plus a $20,000 fine for PCP, LSD or fentanyl.
- Five years in prison plus a $15,000 fine for any other controlled substance.
Drugs that are in Schedule I and II include narcotics such as:
- Lysergic acid diethylamide.
- 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) better known as Ecstasy.
These penalties are imposed for those convicted of a first offense. If you are facing your second or subsequent offense, you face tougher penalties. You should contact a MoCo drug lawyer to discuss possible penalties and defenses.
Defenses to Drug Charges in Montgomery County
One or more common defenses may be used in your case. Your lawyer could investigate the charges, evidence and circumstances surround your arrest. Based on this information, he or she will devise a strategy. Consult a Montgomery County drug charges lawyer today.
You unwittingly possessed drugs
In this defense, you may actually have had drugs in your possession. However, your MoCo drug charges lawyer will show that you did not know you were in possession of the drugs. An example of this defense is if the police search your apartment or vehicle. They find drugs. You share the apartment or vehicle with a relative or spouse. Therefore, the drugs could belong to anyone.
There is lack of possession
This defense involves showing that the prosecutor can’t prove that you were the person possessing the drugs. For example, you were traveling in a vehicle with two or more people. The drugs were found in the vehicle, but not on you. Your attorney could show that there is lack of possession to charge you with a crime.
Unlawful search and seizure
According to the U.S. Constitution, the Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to due process under the law. Illegal drugs found in plain view on your vehicle’s dashboard may be used as evidence against you. However, drugs found in a secret compartment in a vehicle by police can’t be used as evidence unless there is a proper search warrant or you gave permission.
Drug convictions can result in serious consequences and may remain on your criminal record. Speak with an experienced Montgomery County drug lawyer today for a free consultation.