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Wheaton Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys

Zealously Defending Clients in the Face of Serious Charges

Drug crimes are taken very seriously by Maryland law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. If you have been accused of or charged with any type of drug crime—including illegal possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, drug trafficking, or any other type of related offense—you face steep fines and jail time. Additionally, a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record and could potentially cause you to lose your job, your reputation, and your freedom.

It is incredibly important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your options and protect your rights. The award-winning attorneys at Portner & Shure have been successfully representing clients in drug-related matters in Montgomery County Courts for over 30 years. We understand the system, and we are ready to fight for you.

Give us a call at (410) 995-1515 or submit a secure online contact form to request your free, confidential consultation with our team.

Maryland Drug Laws

Generally, drug crimes can be broken down into two categories: Possession and Distribution. The penalties for each vary depending on the type of drug, the amount of drugs, and an individual’s prior criminal record.


It is generally illegal to possess any type Controlled Dangerous Substance without a prescription in the State of Maryland. The penalty for simple possession is 1 year. However, the penalty increases if a person is found guilty of possessing a Schedule I (e.g., heroin, LSD, ecstasy) or Schedule II (e.g., Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin) drug. Specifically, the penalty increases to 20 years for a first offense. The penalty for a second or third offense is 18 months. The penalty for a fourth offense is 2 years.

Additionally, it is illegal to possess drug paraphernalia in the state of Maryland. Paraphernalia includes syringes and pipes. A first offense carries no jail time however a subsequent offense carries a maximum penalty of 2 years.

Distribution & Manufacturing

The crimes of drug manufacturing and distribution are treated more harshly than possession. Under Maryland law, it is illegal to distribute, possess with intent to distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or manufacture a controlled dangerous substance. The maximum penalty is 5 years in prison. A subsequent offense carries a minimum term of two years with no chance of parole.

With regards to distribution of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, the penalties increase significantly. The maximum penalty for a first offense and second offense is 20 years. The maximum penalty for a third offense is 30 years, and the maximum penalty for a fourth offense is 40 years.

People often ask what constitutes distribution or possession with intent to distribution? Stated simply, under Maryland Law the possession of a drug in sufficient quantities is sufficient evidence to warrant a charge of distribution or an intent to distribute.

Maryland Kingpin Law

Many of the previously discussed laws are aimed at drug users and dealers. The State of Maryland also has laws aimed at “drug kingpins.” A person can be charged as a kingpin, or volume dealer, if they are found possessing or distributing large quantities of controlled dangerous substances. The penalties range from a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 40 years without the possibility of parole.

Defenses to Drug Charges in Maryland

The facts surrounding each case are different. The Montgomery County Police vigorously enforce drug laws. Due to the wide variety of drug laws, the States’ Attorney for Montgomery County often over charges individuals in an effort to intimidate them and obtain leverage for a possible plea. However, a careful review of the evidence may reveal weaknesses in the State’s case. Many drug cases rise or fall on Fourth Amendment suppression issues. Stated simply, the police may have gathered illegally. Accordingly, who has been accused of drug crime in Montgomery County should retain the services of a thorough Wheaton, Maryland drug defense lawyer.

Many drug cases rise or fall on Fourth Amendment suppression issues. Stated simply, the police may have gathered evidence illegally. If you have been accused of or arrested for a drug crime in Wheaton or any of the surrounding areas, we encourage you to contact our firm right away so we can begin reviewing your case.

Why Hire Portner & Shure?

When you are accused of a drug crime, your future is on the line. You need an experienced team of criminal defense attorneys who understand how the system works and who know Montgomery County prosecutors and judges, as well as the individuals who make up a potential jury pool.

The experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure have been zealously representing clients for a variety of drug matters in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 30 years. Our attorneys make weekly appearances in Montgomery County Courthouses. In addition to excellent reviews from prior clients, Portner & Shure’s reputation in the legal community can be seen with the numerous awards the attorneys have earned over 30 years of practice. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recently recognized Portner & Shure as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms”.

To schedule a free consultation regarding your Montgomery County drug case, contact us at (410) 995-1515 or contact us online.


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