Drug Crimes Attorney in Baltimore, MD
Maryland has some of the country’s strictest penalties for the possession, sales, or trafficking of drugs. These consequences often subject the convicted to years in jail and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana continue to be illegal according to state and federal law. Many of the penalties stem from their federal scheduling, with the one glaring exception being marijuana. For schedule I and II drugs, simple possession is a felony and can impact a person’s entire life with a criminal record. When facing such significant criminal charges, it is imperative to consult with an attorney. Albers & Associates provides effective criminal defense services to clients in Baltimore and all of Maryland. If you have been arrested for drugs, contact our firm to discuss your case.
We are ready to assess your situation, guide you through your legal options and fight for your future. Contact Albers & Associates.
Federal scheduling of drugs
For the most part, Maryland drug laws are in direct correlation with the federal scheduling of drugs under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 in which the government categorized drugs by their rate of abuse, medical benefits, and safety.
Schedule I: Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs. They come with no medical benefit and a high rate of abuse. These include
- Bath Salts
Schedule II: Schedule II drugs are less dangerous than schedule I. They come with a high potential for abuse and limited medical benefits under severe restrictions. These include:
Schedule III: Schedule III drugs have a medium level of abuse and come with acceptable medical uses. These can include:
- Anabolic steroids
- Drugs with more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dose
Schedule IV and V are the least dangerous drugs and have the lowest potential for abuse. In addition, these drugs have a regular medical use.
Maryland marijuana laws
As you may have noticed, according to the federal schedule, marijuana is a schedule I drug. While the tides have changed in recent years, it was once considered a dangerous drug with no medical benefits. While the federal government has not changed its stance on marijuana, it has, in recent times, allowed states to make their own decisions. Many states, including Maryland, allow for the medicinal use of marijuana. Maryland’s medical cannabis industry is strictly regulated and its patients must have a valid reason in order to qualify and also must register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. That said, recreational use is still illegal.
Possession of marijuana is still against the law and, though it does not directly reflect its place as a schedule I drug, it can still be a serious matter, depending on the circumstances. Possession charges are as such:
- Possession of fewer than 10 grams: This is a civil offense with a $100 fine
- Possession of 10 grams -50 lbs: Misdemeanor with a $1000 fine and 1 year in jail
- Possession of 50+ lbs: Felony with a $100,000 fine and a minimum sentence of 5 years
If you are charged with an intent to distribute, the matter is even more serious. This crime is a felony with circumstances that greatly depend on the amount.
- Less than 50 pounds: $15,000 fine and 5 years in jail
- Greater than 50 pounds: $15,000 fine and a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years
- Greater than 50 pounds as the drug kingpin: $1,000,000 fine and 20-40 years in jail with a minimum
- In a school vehicle or on or within 1000 feet of a school: $20,000 fine and 20 years
Maryland cocaine laws
Cocaine possession is a different situation altogether. Simple possession is a misdemeanor. This crime comes with a penalty of up to 4 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. If you were to be found guilty of bringing over 28 grams into the state, the situation is worse. You could be subject to a felony with a $50,000 fine and up to 25 years in jail.
The intent to distribute or sales of cocaine is a felony with a penalty of 20 years in jail and/or a $25,000 fine. The sale of more than 448 grams of cocaine or 50 grams of crack is a felony with a minimum sentence of 40 years in jail.
Maryland heroin laws
Maryland’s heroin laws are very strict. Heroin abuse is an overwhelming problem in the state and across the country. The penalties for simple possession is a misdemeanor charge with jail time up to 4 years and/or a $25,000 fine and the penalties rise with the amount in one’s possession. Bringing heroin weighing over 4 grams into the state is a felony with a penalty of a $50,000 fine and 25 years in jail.
The intent to sell or sale of heroin up to 28 grams is a felony charge with up to 20 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. The sale or intent over 28 grams is a minimum sentence of 40 years.
Contact Albers & Associates
If you have been arrested on the charge of possession, sales, intent to sell, or any other drug-related violation, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Albers & Associates is an experienced criminal defense law firm with significant experience helping clients fight some of the most serious criminal charges. If you need a legal team to zealously represent you in criminal court, contact Albers & Associates.