Maryland Drug Charges Overview
In Maryland, it is unlawful for any person to possess marijuana, no matter what quantity. The charges and punishment will vary depending on the amount in your possession upon arrest. If you are caught with up to 10 grams, you will potentially face a fine of $500 and up to 90 days incarceration. If you are found in possession of more than 10 grams, the fine will double and you could face an entire year in prison. The police use the amount of drugs found in your possession to determine whether or not the drugs are for personal use or for distribution. For drugs other than marijuana, the fines and prison guidelines are much higher, ranging in the thousands of dollars and years in prison.
Aside from the drugs themselves, a person can also face criminal penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia. These are the items made specifically for the purpose of using a certain type of drug. For a first offense of possession of drug paraphernalia in Maryland, the fine can be $500.
A second offense could result in a $2,000 fine and two years’ incarceration.
For drug charges involving the intention to sell, manufacture, or distribute substances other than marijuana, offenders in Maryland can face fines of up to $25,000 and prison sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years depending on the drug. For repeat offenders the fines can begin at $25,000 and can go up to $100,000. Prison terms can range anywhere from 20 to 40 years.
Drugs charges in Maryland are very serious and can have a significant impact on your life. If you are facing drug charges, contacting an experienced Maryland drug lawyer can help you navigate this difficult situation and potentially assist in getting a reduced sentence, or even beating the charge. However, keep in mind that you must cooperate with the police. If you add an assault or fleeing charge to your case, the likelihood that the court will rule in your favor is small.
Other Drug Charges
As with any other state, Maryland has a variety of drugs that are commonly used, many of which have their own separate laws and penalties. Here are the common drugs that are used in the state of Maryland, as well as the penalties associated with them:
Heroin is one of the most serious drug offenses in the state of Maryland.
Possession of heroin is a misdemeanor that can result in up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Penalties can be doubled if this is a second possession offense. However, if more than 4 grams of heroin are brought into the state, the penalty can be raised to a felony with up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Distribution and sale of heroin is a felony that can result in up to 40 years in prison. Other factors could raise the penalty, like if the sale was made to a minor or on school grounds.
Trafficking heroin is the most serious of the offenses. Trafficking usually refers to a large amount of a drug that was transported across state or national borders. If the defendant is labeled a “drug kingpin,” the penalties can result in up to 40 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Cocaine is a narcotic that has been known to be addictive, and the state of Maryland has severe penalties associated with the drug.
Possession of cocaine is a misdemeanor charge that can result in up to 4 years in prison and a $25,000 charge (for a first offense). Bringing 28 grams or more into the state can result in up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Distribution and sale of heroin is a felony charge that can result in up to 20 years in prison and a find of up to $25,000. Other factors will result in harsher penalties, like how many offenses, and if the sale was made to a minor.
Maryland has no specific offense for the cultivation of marijuana. If caught, the defendant will usually receive a penalty associated with the amount of marijuana they are growing. A misdemeanor charge can still result in up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for the first offense. However, larger amounts can lead to more severe penalties, similar to the penalties of intent to distribute marijuana.
For more information about the drug laws in MD you can read the Maryland Official Code.