Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substance Laws
The state of Maryland divides CDS into five “schedules.” Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse; and increase in recognized medical uses. These schedules are also used to determine the applicable penalties for illegally possessing specific CDS. If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS possession, you’ll need to consult with a Maryland drug possession defense attorney right away.
Please click here to connect with Rockville, MD Drug Crime Attorney Michael Taylor for a free case review. With an office in Rockville, Maryland he server Anne Arundel County, Frederick County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, MD.
the Main Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (Md. Ann. Code. § 5-402, 5-403, 5-404, 5-405, & 5-406.) and find the substance you’re charged with possessing — it will be listed under one of the five Schedules.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Violating Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substance Laws
Penalties for Making or Selling CDS It is illegal in Maryland to make, sell, or possess CDS with the intent to do these things; with few exceptions, such as a doctor who legally prescribes a prescription medication. Penalties vary according to the Schedule of the CDS involved. (Md. Ann. Code. § 5-602.)
Making, selling, or possessing Schedule I or II Narcotic CDS with the intent to do those things incurs a fine of up to $25,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both. Second convictions incur a fine of up to $100,000, at least ten years in prison, or both. Third convictions incur a fine of up to $100,000, at least 25 years in prison, or both. Fourth convictions incur a fine of up to $100,000, at least 40 years in prison, or both. (Md. Ann. Code. § 5-608.) Schedule I and II hallucinogenic substances
Making, selling, or possessing a Schedule I or II hallucinogenic CDS with the intent to do those things incurs a fine of up to $20,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both. Second convictions incur a fine of up to $100,000, at least ten years in prison, or both. Third convictions incur a fine of up to $100,000, at least 25 years in prison, or both. Fourth convictions incur a fine of up to $100,000, at least 40 years in prison, or both. (Md. Ann. Code. § 5-609.) Schedule III, IV, and V substances
Making, selling, or possessing a Schedule III, IV, or V CDS with the intent to do those things incurs a fine of up to $15,000, up to five years in prison, or both. Second and subsequent convictions incur a fine of up to $15,000, at least two (and up to five) years in prison, or both. (Md. Ann. Code. § 5-607.)
Maryland Drug Possession Laws
Legally, possession refers to having control over something. This means the drugs don’t have to be in your pocket or your hand. If you can exercise control over them, they are in your possession. If the drugs are found under your car seat, on your end table, or laying loose in your lap, you are considered in “possession” of them. Marijuana Possession Marijuana is the only drug that requires a different penalty under Maryland law. If you are convicted of being in possession of marijuana, you will face misdemeanor penalties of up to one year in jail.
If you are found in possession of any other drug, aside from marijuana, you will face a felony charge. Possession of drugs carries a potential 4 year prison sentence and fines reaching $25,000. This maximum potential sentence applies to drugs like cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, LSD, meth, and prescription drugs.
Alternatives to Incarceration
There are no hard and fast rules in Maryland when it comes to who gets probation and who doesn’t. There are no guaranteed second chances here. The court, with the help of the prosecution, will weigh many factors in determining your sentence. With the assistance of an aggressive defense attorney, you may be able to argue that you are a good candidate for such an alternative, increasing your chances of being granted probation instead of active jail time. But remember, if you’re caught in violation of this probation, you could go back to jail.
When you are charged with drug possession, having someone in your corner looking out for your best interest is important. While we can tell you what the law says, an experienced Rockville, Maryland criminal defense attorney can help you build a rock solid defense and weigh any other potential options.
Cocaine Statutes in Maryland
The charges and penalties under Maryland’s cocaine laws are listed below. Code Section Art. 27 §§276, et seq. Possession Misdemeanor with penalty of up to 4 yrs. and/or $25,000; Bringing 28 g. into state: felony with penalty of up to $50,000 and/or 25 yrs.; Subsequent offense: double penalties Sale Felony with penalty of 20 yrs. and/or $25,000; Sale of more than 448 g. or 50 g. of crack: not less than 40 yrs.; Subsequent offense: double penalties; 2 yrs. mandatory, not less than 10 yr. sentence; Third offense: not less than 40 yrs. Sale to minors or near school property: stricter penalties Trafficking If “drug kingpin” 20-40 yrs. and/or $1,000,000 fine
Federal Drug Laws Related To MD CDS Crimes
There are Maryland state statutes as well as federal laws on the books. Federal drug laws prohibit simple cocaine possession along with manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution. As seen above, penalties for cocaine possession or sale can be severe and generally vary depending on whether you have prior drug convictions and the quantity of drugs involved. In some cases, prosecutors can offer a plea bargain to a lower-level offender in exchange for helping to build a case against higher-level producers and dealers. In addition, some jurisdictions have recently created specialized “drug courts” that allow first or second-time drug crime defendants to spend time in treatment in lieu of a jail sentence. Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine.
Possession Marijuana Personal Use 10 g or less fine-only* none $ 100 10g – 50 lbs misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000 With intent to distribute Less than 50 lbs felony 5 years $ 15,000 More than 50 lbs felony 5 years** $ 15,000 More than 50 lbs (drug kingpin) felony 20 – 40 years $ 1,000,000 In a school vehicle, or in, on, or within 1000 feet of an elementary or secondary school felony 2 – 5 years $ 40,000 Involving a minor felony 20 years $ 20,000 * Fine increases to $250 for second-time offenders. ** Subsequent offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years. Trafficking 5 – 45 kgs felony 10 years $ 10,000 More than 45 kgs felony 25 years $ 50,000 In possession of a firearm while trafficking felony 5* – 20 years $ 0 * Mandatory minimum sentence Cultivation See Possession section for details. Hash & Concentrates Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.
Maryland Drug Paraphernalia Possession Laws
Possession of paraphernalia such as bongs, bowls, pipes, tourniquets and syringes are misdemeanors. They carry a 1 year $ 1,000 Selling paraphernalia misdemeanor 2 years $ 2,000 To a minor who is at least 3 years younger misdemeanor 8 years $ 15,000 Advertising the distribution of paraphernalia misdemeanor 2 years $ 2,000 Paraphernalia includes all equipment and materials used in the use, manufacture, or distribution of marijuana
Maryland CDS Schedules
The Maryland CDS has 5 schedules. All drugs, narcotics and medications are in one of these schedules. Each schedule contains drugs with several different criteria which are:
Schedule I Drugs: These are drugs like heroin, LSD, marijuana, Ecstasy and Peyote. They are highly addictive, have a high potential for abuse and dependency. This applies to both physical and psychological dependency. Maryland Schedule I drugs serve no accepted medical purpose. It should be noted that marijuana is considered separately and is typically a misdemeanor in Maryland.
Schedule II Drugs: These are drugs such as much like Schedule I drugs in terms of risk of abuse and dependency. The difference is that they contain core substances with some medical use(s). Examples of MD Schedule II drugs are cocaine, opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycodone, Percocet, methamphetamines (crystal meth), Aderall, Ritalin, stimulants, Dilaudid, Opium and Morphine.
Schedule III Drugs: Drugs in this class include anabolic steroids, hormones, Ketamine, Codeine, Suboxone and many narcotics. These drugs have widely accepted medical uses and can be refilled by the patient if needed. These drugs do have a capacity for abuse and addiction but not nearly as much as Schedule I & II drugs.
Schedule IV Drugs: Anti-anxiety meds and sedatives fall into this schedule in Maryland. Examples are Xanax, Valium, Ambien and anti-seizure meds such as Ativan. They carry a low risk of abuse and have widely accepted medical uses.
Schedule V Drugs: These drugs have a very low risk of abuse and are many times available over the counter. Examples are cough syrup with Codeine and pain relievers such as Lyrica.
Contact Our Lawyers Handling Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substances Charges
By all means do not ignore your pending drug charges related to Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substances. Mr. Taylor provides free case reviews and charges nothing if he does not recover for you.
With an office in Rockville Mr. Taylor serves the Annapolis, Bethesda, Bowie, College Park, Frederick, Glen Burnie, Severna Park, Laurel, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Silver Spring, Wheaton and Upper Marlboro.