For people who are facing drug charges or have a loved one facing drug charges, understanding the different types of charges is vital. Knowing what the charges mean and what the potential consequences are for various charges can help to take some of the wonder out of the process. There are several points to consider in Maryland when it comes to first offense drug charges.
What are the penalties for bringing drugs into Maryland?
Bringing large amounts of controlled substances into Maryland carries serious penalties. For marijuana, bringing 99 pounds or more falls into this category. Cocaine, morphine, PCP, methamphetamine and other controlled substances are also included in this category in various amounts. Bringing these drugs into the state can land someone a fine of up to $50,000 and not more than 25 years in prison.
What are simple possession penalties?
A person who is found guilty of simple possession faces less severe consequences than those associated with other drug charges. Simple possession of marijuana, for example, carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Simple possession of a controlled substance carries a fine of up to $25,000 and up to four years in prison.
What are the possible sentences for distributing, manufacturing or dispensing drugs?
Charges of distribution of Schedule I narcotics, Schedule II narcotics, PCP, LSD and fentanyl all carry up to 20 years in prison. The fine for Schedule I and II narcotics is up to $25,000, while the fine for the remaining three drugs is up to $20,000. Other controlled substances carry up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Are there harsher penalties for large amounts?
The penalties are increased for large amounts of those drugs. A person who has at least 50 pounds of marijuana, 50 grams of cocaine base, 448 grams of cocaine, 1,000 unites of LSD, 16 ounces of PCP, 28 grams of morphine or 448 grams of methamphetamine faces a minimum prison sentence of three years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Source: The Catholic University of America, “Policies and Laws: Federal and State” Sep. 14, 2014