If you or a loved one has been arrested on drug possession charges in Maryland, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the state’s drug possession laws. You might, understandably, think that drug possession is a straightforward charge. However, the complexity of Maryland’s drug possession laws often makes the process of navigating this particular charge successfully quite challenging.
It’s worth noting that drug possession charges are often filed simultaneously with possession of drug paraphernalia charges. These criminal offenses are distinct and a conviction of either risks unique potential penalties.
How is possession defined?
In Maryland, a charge of possession of an illegal substance encompasses simple possession, unlawful administration and attempting/obtaining a dangerous substance under certain circumstances. This means that you could potentially be charged with possession even if you were providing someone else with a dangerous substance or trying to procure one via specific means.
The following things are considered unlawful drug possession under Maryland law:
- Possessing a controlled dangerous substance or administering one to another person unless a valid prescription or order from an authorized medical provider has supplied the substance while acting in the lawful course of their professional practice
- Obtaining/attempting to obtain an unlawful or dangerous controlled substance by fraud, deception, subterfuge, misrepresentation, counterfeiting or concealment of material facts
Potential penalties for drug possession
Possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Maryland. A conviction of this offense risks up to four years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $25,000.
It’s important to aggressively advocate on behalf of your rights if you’ve been charged with possession of an illegal substance. Understanding why Maryland’s drug possession laws are complex will help to ensure that your defense strategy is as solid – and ultimately, successful – as it can be under the circumstances.