Columbia Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
When Your Future Is at Stake, Experience Matters
Drug-related crimes occur frequently throughout the state of Maryland. Common drug crimes include possession and distribution of an illicit substance, as well as drug trafficking and manufacturing. The penalties associated with drug-related crimes are serious and have life-long consequences. A drug crime conviction can result in the loss of employment, loss of future employment opportunities, loss of future educational opportunities, and even loss of one’s freedom.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for or charged with any type of drug-related offense in Howard County, turn to the Columbia drug crime defense attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. For more than 25 years, we have been successfully representing individuals accused of drug crimes throughout the state of Maryland, working to reduce their charges, mitigate penalties, or even have charges dismissed. We will provide you with a free, confidential consultation during which time we will listen to your story and learn more about the unique factors of your case. From there, we can begin building a personalized defense strategy tailored to you.
Contact us now at (855) 954-4141 or use our online request form to schedule your free consultation.
Common Drug Crimes in Maryland
Possession and distribution are the two most common drug crime charges in the state of Maryland. The penalties for each vary depending on the type and amount of drug allegedly in the accused’s possession at the time of the arrest.
Possessing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) without a prescription is illegal under Maryland law. The maximum penalty for possessing a CDS is four years’ imprisonment. If an accused individual is found guilty of possessing a Schedule I drug, such as heroin or LSD, or a Schedule II drug, such as Vicodin or cocaine, the maximum penalty is 20 years for a first offense. Subsequent offenses will lead to the imposition of minimum prison terms and increased maximum sentences. The reason for these increased penalties is due to the fact that Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are viewed as more addictive and, therefore, more dangerous than other illicit substances, like marijuana.
Additionally, possessing drug paraphernalia—such as a syringe, pipe, or bong—is also illegal in Maryland. While a first offense carries no jail time, a subsequent offense carries a maximum penalty of two years.
Drug distribution, or possessing drugs with the intent to distribute them, is prohibited under Maryland law. Distribution is treated much more harshly than possession. Distribution and possession with the intent to distribute can be charged if an accused individual is found to be in possession of a sufficient quantity of drugs. For a first offense, the maximum penalty is five years’ imprisonment, while a subsequent offense carries a minimum term of two years with no chance of parole.
If an accused individual is found guilty of distributing Schedule I or Schedule II substance, the penalties are much more severe. The maximum penalty for a first or second offense is 20 years’ imprisonment. For a third offense, the maximum penalty is 25 years. For a fourth offense, the maximum penalty is 40 years.
Maryland Volume Dealer Law
Maryland also has laws aimed at high-volume drug dealers. Stated simply, if an accused is found with a large quantity of drugs, they can be charged as a high-volume dealer.
The quantities of specific substances needed to incur these charges are as follows:
Marijuana: 50 pounds or more
Crack Cocaine: 50 grams or more
Cocaine: 448 grams or more
Methamphetamine: 448 grams or more
Morphine: 28 grams or more
The penalties for high-volume dealer charges range from a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment to a maximum of 40 years without the possibility of parole.
Defenses to Drug Crime Charges in Maryland
The Howard County police aggressively enforce drug laws. Accordingly, the States’ Attorney for Howard County often charges an individual with every conceivable crime in order to intimidate them. Nonetheless, the success of a drug case often depends on a Fourth Amendment argument. Stated simply, the police may have gathered evidence in violation of the United States Constitution.
As the facts of each case are different, an individual who has been accused of a drug-related crime in Howard County should retain the services of a knowledgeable Columbia drug crime defense lawyer. At Portner & Shure, P.A., we look at the specific facts of your case in order to build a personalized defense strategy and seek the most favorable outcome possible.
Choose a Powerful, Award-Winning Team
For more than 25 years, our attorneys have been zealously representing the injured and the accused in Howard County. We have successfully defended individuals accused of a wide range of drug-related matters and have earned a reputation for being a firm that does not back down. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recently recognized Portner & Shure, P.A. as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms,” and we are proud to have earned numerous additional awards and accolades over the years.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your Howard County drug case, call us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online today.