Maryland law has some very harsh penalties for drug convictions. These penalties can affect your freedom and your finances, so it is vital to begin working on your defense strategy right away once you learn you are facing criminal charges related to drugs.
What are the penalties for simple possession convictions?
A person can face a fine of up to $25,000 and up to four years in prison for a simple possession of a controlled substance conviction. Possession of marijuana in an amount of up to 10 grams isn’t considered a criminal offense as of Oct. 1, 2014. That is the exception to the rule; however, possession of marijuana in that amount is a civil offense that can lead to a fine or citation.
Are penalties increased on drug convictions for any reason?
It is possible for the penalties on drug convictions to be increased because of enhancements or previous convictions. For example, a person who is found to have drugs within 1,000 feet of a school faces an enhanced charge that can lead to up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
Does Maryland have mandatory minimum sentences for any drug convictions?
Maryland drug convictions can have a mandatory minimum sentence. For example, a conviction involving 50 pounds or more of marijuana, 448 grams or more of methamphetamines, cocaine, cocaine mix or PCP mix, or 50 grams or more of cocaine base carries a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Anyone facing drug charges has the right to present a defense against the charges. Understanding the defense options in your case might help you to decide how you want to handle your defense.
Source: The Catholic University of America, “Policies and Laws: Federal and State,” accessed Sep. 03, 2015