Drug Charges

Criminal charges for drug possession are misdemeanors in Maryland, with different penalties depending on the drug in question. Marijuana possession of less than 10 grams is a civil offense where you will receive a citation, though an amount of 10 grams or greater can be charged criminally with maximum penalties of 1 year in jail or a $1,000.00 fine. Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance that is not marijuana is also a misdemeanor, but the penalty substantially increases to 4 years and/or a $25,000.00 fine. Drug charges become felonies where there is evidence of the manufacture or distribution of a CDS. This can be inferred by the weight of the drugs seized by the police, in which the charge would read as possession of a CDS “in sufficient quantity to indicate an intent to distribute the same.” The penalties vary depending on the Schedule of the narcotic, but a typical penalty would be 5 years/$15,000.00 or 20 years/$20,000.00. In most cases, if you face felony charges, you have the right to request a preliminary hearing, where the court would determine if the felony charges can be sent over to the Circuit Court, or if the case must remain in District Court for only the misdemeanor charges.