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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Use or Sell Drugs in Baltimore County, Maryland


Legal News – present by Attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr.

Legal Argument for Why You Shouldn’t Use or Sell Drugs

An August 15, 2011 press release from the Baltimore County Police Department reads in part: “Baltimore County Police have arrested seven individuals after an extensive narcotics investigation into the Black Hole Rock Club [on German Hill Road in Dundalk]…On August 11 at 10:30 p.m., over 100 Baltimore County police officers responded to the Black Hole Rock Club to serve a search warrant related to a nearly 15 month investigation into narcotics distribution at the club. Police received complaints that drugs were used openly throughout the club and undercover officers purchased narcotics inside the club at several times during the investigation.” 

Since I didn’t go to medical school, I can’t present a health argument against the use of illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, ecstasy, and hundreds of other controlled dangerous substances. But I can present a legal argument why you shouldn’t use or sell drugs.

For possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), there are two classifications under Maryland’s Criminal Law: Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Non-Marijuana.

If you’re arrested and charged with possession of marijuana you will face a misdemeanor. If convicted of possession of marijuana you could be facing a maximum penalty of 1 year incarceration and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000.00.

If you’re arrested and charged with possession of non-marijuana you will be also be facing a misdemeanor.  Again, non-marijuana drugs are heroin, cocaine, crack, or any controlled dangerous substance as defined in Maryland Criminal Law 5-601.  If convicted you could be facing a maximum penalty of 4 years incarceration and/or a fine not exceeding $25,000.00.

If you’re charged with possession with intent to distribute, drug distribution, or manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance, Maryland law provides that you will be charged with a felony.

If you’re convicted with possession with felony intent to distribute, drug distribution, or manufacturing Marijuana, then you could face a maximum penalty of 5 years and/or a fine not exceeding $15,000.00.

If you’re charged and convicted with possession with intent to distribute, drug distribution, or manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, a first conviction can subject you to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years and/or a fine not exceeding $25,000.00. 

A second can lead to imprisonment for not less than 10 years and subject to a fine not exceeding $100,000.00.  Third and fourth convictions subject you to imprisonment not less than 25 years and 40 years, respectively, and fines up to $100,000.

These penalties make for a strong argument why you shouldn’t use or sell drugs in Maryland.

The contents of this article do not create an attorney-client privilege or relationship and is not intended as legal advice.  If you are facing criminal charges or need legal advice, you should seek the counsel of a licensed Maryland attorney.