Washington County Drug Lawyer
If you are charged with a drug violation, or believe you are under investigation by the state or federal government, it is extremely important that you retain the services of a highly qualified Washington County drug lawyer at the earliest possible moment.
Washington County Drug Violations
There are a variety of drug violations that may warrant contact with a Washington County drug lawyer, some much more serious than others. They can include:
- Possessing (or administering) controlled substances [Maryland Annotated Code Section 5-601]
- Possession with intent to sell, distribute, or traffic drugs (PWID) [Section 5–602]
For marijuana charges:
- If you are caught with less than 50 pounds you will face up to 5 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.
- If the amount is greater than 50 pounds, your potential sentence is increased to no less than 5 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
- Manufacturing drugs, or possessing equipment that can be used to manufacture drugs (or grow large quantities of marijuana) [Section 5–603].
- Using a minor to manufacture or distribute controlled substances [Section 5-628].
- Possible Federal drug charges [21 U.S. Code 21, Chapter 13/1, Part D].
Maryland Drug Classifications
Maryland criminal law follows the Federal Substances Guidelines to classify drugs for the purposes of prosecution based on each drug’s abuse properties, along with its medical value (if any). There are five categories. And though each schedule lists many drugs, the most widely known examples are listed in their corresponding schedules below. The lower the schedule number, the more serious the charges and penalties. Check with your Washington County drug lawyer if your offense is not shown below.
- Schedule I – Heroin, ecstasy, LSD, and other hallucinogens
- Schedule II – Cocaine, methamphetamine, crystal meth, morphine, and PCP
- Schedule III – Anabolic steroids, empirin, codeine and hydrocodone (and its derivatives), Ketamine, high-level barbiturates, and other depressants
- Schedule IV – Reserved mostly for prescription drugs such as darvon, talwin, equanil, valium, rohypnol (“roofies”), xanax, and a variety of other stimulants and tranquilizers
- Schedule V – Primarily codeine-based cough suppressants or other prescription drugs with low levels of Codeine
Below are primarily possession-only drug offenses and penalties. Greater penalties to those who distribute and manufacture drugs could bring prison sentences of up to 40 years or more, and very large fines. They illustrate how important a Washington County drug lawyer is to your defense.
- Possession of a controlled substance (not marijuana) [Section 5-601(c)(1)] is charged against those with small amounts, primarily for personal use. The penalty can be as high as four years in prison and or a $25,000 fine.
- Possession of marijuana [*more than 10 grams of marijuana (for personal use)] carries a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to a year [Section 5-601(c)(2)].
- Possession of marijuana less than 10 grams is a fine only offense that is now a civil offense – non criminal and non arrestable – $100 for a first offense and $250 for a second offense.
- Possession of a schedule I and II controlled substance can bring a prison sentence of up to 40 years and a fine of up to $100,000. It depends on the amount in your possession and whether it’s a first or subsequent violation. A conviction for conspiracy to distribute these controlled substances brings the same penalties [Sections 5-608(b)(1) and 5-609(b)(1)].
- Possession of a Schedule III – V Controlled Substance is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $15,000 for a first offense. A second offense carries the same penalties, but Maryland statutes require that at least two years of incarceration must be served [Section 5-607].
- Possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (Schedule III-V) [Section 5–612]. Large amounts of controlled substances seized can raise this violation to possession with intent. These amounts are listed in MD Code Section 5-612(a). Penalties can bring a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years (without parole) and a fine up to $100,000, depending on the controlled substance and the amount in possession [Section 5–612(c)(1)].
Additional Washington County Drug Penalties
The court may order those who are convicted of any drug-manufacturing charge to pay all associated costs of any cleanup to the manufacturing site [Section 5–610].
A person transporting or distributing controlled substances who is arrested and in possession of any firearm could serve up to 20 years in prison, with a five-year mandatory minimum without parole. A second conviction for this offense brings a minimum of 20 years [Section 5-621(c)(1)].
Those who possess, manufacture, sell, or distribute drugs within 1,000 feet of any K–12 school or on a school bus can be found guilty of a felony. Penalties for a first offense are up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. A second violation can double the sentence to 40 years (with a five year no-parole minimum), and the fine to $40,000 [Section 5-627(c)].
Contacting a Washington County Drug Lawyer
If you are being investigated or accused of any type of drug crime in Washington County, Maryland, contact a Washington County drug lawyer as soon as possible. A drug lawyer in Washington County will be able to look at the specific facts surrounding your case and develop the strongest possible defense. Call today for a free consultation.