It’s been well documented that Maryland is facing a growing heroin epidemic. The state saw a 21% growth in deaths from overdosing on heroin in 2015 alone; 1,259 people died and 86% of these deaths involved opioids. More people died from overdosing, in the state of Maryland, than from homicides. In Baltimore, where an estimated 19,000 people are heroin users, a public health emergency has been declared in response to the epidemic.
Drug possession crimes are among the most frequently charged offenses in the Maryland criminal justice system, and are subject to harsh penalties, even if they are first offenses. If you or someone you know is facing charges in a case related to heroin or other Schedule I or II drugs, it is important to know the penalties that will be faced as well as the legal recourse that is available.
Penalties for Drug Possession with Intent to Sell in Maryland
A conviction for possession with intent to distribute, distributing drugs, or manufacturing a controlled substance will result in a felony charge under Maryland law. For drugs that are considered less dangerous, felony charges usually come with 5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
If the substance is classified under Schedule I or Schedule II, cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, ecstasy, MDMA, or some prescription drugs, the sentence could be elevated quite dramatically. If convicted of drug possession with intent to distribute any of these substances, the accused will face up to 20 years in prison with fines reaching up to $25,000 for the first offense.
If charged with a felony, the accused may not have to go to jail. If it is the first offense, there is a possibility that the accused could serve probation as an alternative to being convicted. This means that the charges will be put on hold temporarily. Once the period of probation is completed successfully, the charges are then dropped.
However, there is no guarantee that the option for probation will be offered. Many factors will be weighed by the court in determining a sentence. With the help of an experienced defense attorney, however, there is a better chance of being granted an alternative sentence.
How Can Wendy Satin Law Help
A drug conviction can lead to harsh legal consequences, and may also impact other aspects of your life such as your ability to find a job or a place to live. It is important to have someone looking out for the defendant’s best interests when they are charged with drug possession and/or intent to distribute. Wendy Satin is an experienced Maryland criminal attorney, who has knowledge of state and federal drug laws and can examine your case and help weigh all of your potential options.
If you are facing drug charges, it is important to begin building a case as soon as possible. Contact us today at 301.762.1000.