first-time drug possession charge in Maryland
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Maryland First-Time Drug Possession Penalties
Maryland takes drug offenses seriously, and the consequences of drug possession can lead to imprisonment. Narcotics-related charges come with various repercussions, and the penalties for first-time drug possession in Maryland vary based on several factors. Although Maryland has decriminalized small quantities of marijuana, the possession of other drugs incurs more severe penalties.
The Law Offices of Krum, Gergely, and Oates, a law firm specializing in drug possession cases, outline the consequences for first-time drug possession in Maryland.
The Consequences of a First-Time Drug Possession in Maryland
The severity of penalties associated with first-time possession offenses in Maryland hinges on the specific drug involved and its quantity. Maryland adheres to federal guidelines for categorizing controlled and dangerous substances. Schedule 1 drugs, characterized by a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical use, encompass substances such as heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote.
Schedule II drugs, also posing a high risk of abuse with the potential for “severe psychological or physical dependence,” include substances like Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone, meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin. While some of these drugs serve medical purposes, they are still considered dangerous. Our Maryland attorney specializing in Schedule I or II drug offenses can provide assistance in comprehending the charges and potential repercussions.
Possession of any drug other than small amounts of marijuana can result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the quantity of the controlled substance. A first-time drug possession offense carries a potential 4-year prison sentence and fines of up to $25,000. This maximum penalty applies to substances such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, meth, and prescription drugs.
Maryland recently decriminalized the possession of limited amounts of marijuana. Possessing small quantities of cannabis (under 10 grams) is treated as a civil offense similar to a traffic violation. However, possessing larger amounts of cannabis or other drugs can lead to substantial penalties, determined by the quantities involved and the accused’s intent to distribute them.
According to Maryland Code § 5-60, individuals are prohibited from possessing or administering controlled dangerous substances unless obtained directly through a prescription or from a “licensed provider engaged in professional activities.”
Obtaining or trying to obtain a controlled, dangerous substance is prohibited by law.
1. Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or subterfuge
2. Concealing a material fact
3. Altering or counterfeiting a prescription or written order
4. Using a false name or address
5. Concealing a material fact
6. Making, issuing, or presenting a fake or counterfeit prescription or written order
7. Falsely assuming the identity of a manufacturer, distributor, or authorized provider
Providing false information to a doctor to obtain a controlled, dangerous substance is also prohibited. For further insights into the various penalties associated with drug possession, continue reading from our Maryland criminal defense lawyer.
First-Time Marijuana Possession Penalties in Maryland
If you are found guilty of possessing marijuana in excess of 10 grams for the first time, you may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for one year, or both. However, having marijuana for medicinal purposes to address a medical condition could potentially serve as a legal defense.
For a first offense involving possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, it is considered a civil matter and is punishable by a fine not exceeding $100. Subsequent civil violations escalate the fine to $250 for the second offense and $500 for the third.
Individuals under the age of 21 found in possession of small quantities of marijuana are required to participate in a drug education program approved by the Maryland Department of Health. The legal system treats individuals caught with specific drugs more seriously than others.
First Offense Cocaine Possession Penalties in Maryland
For a first-time misdemeanor possession of cocaine in Maryland, the potential consequences include imprisonment for a maximum of four years and a fine of up to $25,000. If the amount in possession exceeds 28 grams, the violation is escalated to a felony, which entails a punishment of 25 years of imprisonment and a fine reaching a maximum of $50,000.
The sale of cocaine automatically results in penalties that can include up to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $25,000. On the other hand, engaging in trafficking can lead to a potential prison term ranging from 20 to 40 years, accompanied by a fine of up to $1 million.
Penalties for First-Time Possession of Heroin
Maryland, along with other states, treats the possession of heroin with great severity. Even possessing small quantities of the substance for the first time can result in significant consequences. First-time possession of heroin is classified as a misdemeanor, and the associated penalty may involve a prison term of up to four years and/or a fine reaching $25,000.
Importing heroin into Maryland elevates the offense to a felony, Exposing the individual to a possible imprisonment term of as long as 25 years and a monetary penalty of up to $50,000. Individuals convicted of heroin sales may be subject to a prison sentence of 20 years and/or a fine reaching $25,000.
Contact a Drug Defense Attorney for First-Time Drug Possession Charges in Maryland
At The Law Offices of Krum, Gergely, and Oates, our seasoned Maryland drug crime defense attorneys have been assisting individuals facing these significant charges for decades. Few situations are as distressing and intimidating as being charged with first-time drug possession.
Individuals facing drug possession charges sometimes underestimate the potential consequences. Maryland enforces strict drug laws that should not be disregarded. We will meticulously examine the prosecution’s case, seeking any weaknesses, and make every effort to establish your innocence or present evidence that may mitigate your eventual sentence. If you find yourself confronting a drug possession charge, kindly contact our Maryland criminal defense attorneys at your earliest convenience.