Drug charges carry very stiff penalties, and can wreak havoc upon one’s life. No matter if this is your first offense or what kind of drug charge you’re facing, you need to take this situation seriously. The best way to avoid your drug charges is to hire an experienced Eldersburg drug crime lawyer.
How Are Drug Charges Differentiated in Maryland?
The Controlled Substances Act of 1971 established what are known as “schedules” (basically just different tiered categories of drugs). Schedule 1 drugs are the most addictive and carry the harshest penalties, while schedule 3 are the least addictive and have lesser penalties, schedule 2 is somewhere in the middle.
Marijuana, while still federally a schedule 1 drug, has been decriminalized in Maryland. Having said that, it can still bring fines if you are found in possession of it. If you’re found with under 10 grams then you could face fines up to $100. If you are found with over 10 grams, or if this is a repeat offense, the penalties could become more severe.
How Severe Are Drug Charges?
If you are found in possession of any amount of any controlled substance, besides marijuana, then you could be charged with a misdemeanor. These possession charges are punishable by up to 4 years in prison and/or fines up to $25,000. Penalties are usually dealt out with regards to the amount possessed and your past criminal activity.
One aspect that separates drug charges is whether or not there was intent to distribute. Possession with intent to distribute charges range from 20 years and $25,000 in fines for schedules 1 and 2 drugs to 5 years and $15,000 for schedule 3 drugs. Mandatory minimum sentences of 5 years and fines of up to $100,000 can be dealt out for possession of:
- PCP – 16oz.
- Cocaine – 448g
- Crack cocaine – 50g
- Methamphetamine – 448g
- Marijuana – 50lbs
- Opium, morphine, and heroin – 28g
- LSD – 1,000 dosage units
Additionally separate charges for possession of drug paraphernalia can be given to you. Punishments of up to 1 year and /or $500 can be given for marijuana paraphernalia and punishments of up to 4 years and $25,000 for non-marijuana paraphernalia.
Why Should I Hire an Eldersburg Drug Crimes Lawyer?
As we already said, drug crimes are extremely serious and can cause irreparable harm to you and your family. Don’t let these drug charges ruin your life, call an experienced Eldersburg drug crimes lawyer. If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, give us a call today. We are available to answer any questions you may have, and can offer you a free consultation.