Maryland Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
Have you or someone you care about been charged with a criminal drug offense in Maryland? Being arrested for anything can be a terrifying experience, but drug crimes are particularly serious, and a conviction can have lifelong consequences.
The first things to remember are that it is vital to exercise both your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Even though law enforcement may tell you that “they only want to help,” these officials are not on your side, and anything you say to them can and will be used against you in court.
Similarly, you also have a right to legal counsel immediately upon arrest. Once you invoke this right, law enforcement must immediately stop their interrogations until you have an attorney present.
If you have been accused of committing a drug offense in Montgomery County, Grabo Law, LLC, is here to protect your rights. Attorney Robert Grabo has extensive experience defending clients in Maryland drug crime cases and believes that everyone accused of a crime is worthy of a competent criminal defense.
What is Considered a Drug Crime?
Under Maryland law, some of the crimes that qualify as drug-related offenses include:
- Drug possession
This is a long list, but Maryland generally classifies drug crimes into a few distinct categories:
- Drug possession. This charge means that you either had the drugs on your person, in your immediate vicinity, or your designated property such as a home, vehicle, or locker.
- Drug possession with the intent to distribute. This is a drug possession charge that is elevated based on having a higher quantity of the substance on hand, which allows for the assumption that you meant to distribute them whether you intended to or not.
- Drug trafficking. This charge will go into effect when a sufficiently large quantity of a drug is found in your possession. Your intent won’t matter for the charges.
Maryland also classifies drug offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies, with felonies being the more severe of the two. This distinction is based on several factors. First, the type of drug you are accused of possessing makes a difference. Second, the quantity of the drug plays a role. Finally, the seriousness of the charges is considered, such as drug trafficking or adding the intent to distribute to possession charges.
Marijuana Possession in Maryland
While the possession of certain quantities of marijuana has been decriminalized in Maryland, this does not make it legal. This is an important distinction. According to recent changes in the law, a person (under the age of 21) who is found in possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana can be charged with a civil offense. This is similar to getting a traffic ticket, where the fine for a first offense is up to $100.
However, if you get caught with more than 10 grams, and you will still be faced with a criminal misdemeanor charge. There is also a chance, even with a civil penalty, that officers will attempt to find other ways to criminalize your behavior by also issuing tickets for possession of drug paraphernalia or arresting you for driving under the influence, which is a misdemeanor.
Penalties for Drug Crimes
The penalties for drug crimes in Maryland can be harsh and are largely based on a variety of factors. These include the type of drug involved, the quantity of the drug found, the severity of the charges, and any prior convictions.
When faced with a misdemeanor charge, a person convicted of a first-offense drug crime might receive a fine and probation. There is even the possibility of a diversion program that would keep a conviction off of your permanent record if you qualify. However, a repeat offender that is charged with a felony could face penalties that include steep fines and 20 years or more in prison.
Because the penalties can vary, and the implications of a conviction are severe, it is imperative that you speak with a knowledgeable Maryland drug crimes attorney who can help you understand the gravity of your situation and take immediate steps to protect your legal rights.
Maryland Drug Crimes Defenses
Most Maryland drug crimes cases involve search and seizure issues, the actions of undercover detectives and informants, and criminal forfeitures. Because of this, a variety of factors must be considered when evaluating whether to challenge evidence or whether law enforcement had probable cause to make an arrest or seize property.
At Grabo Law, LLC, our legal team understands how drug crime arrests and investigations are put together. We know what to look for to discredit witnesses and informants, block attempts to seize assets and property, and suppress evidence. Our approach is thorough and aggressive, examining all aspects of your arrest, from whether there was reasonable suspicion to justify a stop to any violation of your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights.
Not only have we been able to exclude evidence in drug crimes cases through a Motion to Suppress, but we have also been successful in achieving voluntary dismissals of cases when there is obviously weak evidence. Other options include plea bargains when warranted, drug treatment court for cases that qualify, and taking a case to trial when justified and necessary.
Speak with an Experienced Maryland Drug Crimes Attorney
At Grabo Law, LLC, our firm has experience representing drug-arrest clients in both state and federal court. Whether you use drugs recreationally, are an alleged drug dealer, or have been falsely accused of a crime, our law firm understands the procedures and laws related to your charges.
Facing charges for a drug offense is a serious matter, even if the charge is a misdemeanor. A conviction can have an impact on your ability to get a job, go to school, secure professional licenses, and find a place to live in the future. This is not a situation you want to leave to chance. The knowledge of the law and experience in the field that Grabo Law brings to the table are vital assets to anyone charged with these crimes. Contact our office today at (301) 938-7652 to schedule an initial consultation. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and advise you of your legal options.