Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (C.D.S.)
Attorney William A. Stavros understands that people charged with illegal drug possession are concerned about the potential consequences in court. Penalties in both the State and Federal courts can include, but are not limited to incarceration, fines, probation and a permanent criminal record. There can also be additional collateral consequences. It is important that as soon as possible after your arrest that you contact an experienced criminal lawyer, so that you can start exploring available options and defenses to your possession charges.
William A. Stavros is lawyer experienced at handling possession cases in both State and Federal Court. He serves the entire Eastern Shore, including Ocean City, through his office in Centreville, Maryland. He serves the Baltimore Metropolitan area and surrounding counties, including the Maryland D.C. suburbs from his office in Towson, Maryland. You may contact attorney William A. Stavros at (410) 825-3300 to set up a free consultation to discuss your State or Federal possession charges. If you live on the Maryland Eastern Shore call today at (410) 739-0794.
Possession of Illegal Drugs in Maryland State Court
Maryland Criminal Law Article section 5-601 refers to illegal drug possession charges as possession of a controlled dangerous substance or possession of C.D.S. This section prohibits a person from both possessing, or administering to another, any controlled dangerous substance unless the substance was obtained for a reason authorized by law such as a prescription or order from an authorized provider acting in the course of a professional practice. Section 5-601 goes on to further criminalize any attempt to obtain C.D.S. or procure or attempt to procure the administration of any C.D.S. by various means and methods of deception.
Possession of C.D.S. Not Marijuana in Maryland State Court
There are many chemicals considered controlled dangerous substances under Maryland law that may be designated under their official name, common name, chemical name or trade name into four separate schedules or categories. Commonly charged cases include: heroin, cocaine, L.S.D., spice, methamphetamine and a variety of allegedly illegally possessed prescription drugs. Under Maryland law a charge of Possession of C.D.S. other than marijuana carries a maximum possible penalty of one year of incarceration and up to a five thousand dollar fine for a first conviction, and up to eighteen months and a five thousand dollar fine for a second or third conviction. A fourth or subsequent conviction carries a potential sentence of two years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of five thousand dollars. Despite these differences in the potential amount of jail time, based upon the number of prior convictions, simple possession is considered a misdemeanor in the Maryland state court system.
Possession of Marijuana in Maryland State Court
Maryland law as it applies to possession of marijuana (sometimes spelled marihuana in charging documents) is more complicated in that there are numerous potential penalties depending on a variety of factors. Depending on the amount possessed a person may be charged criminally or under a civil citation. The maximum possible penalty for a first time offender charged with criminal misdemeanor possession of marijuana can be up to six months of incarceration and a one thousand dollar fine; those issued a citation for a civil offense do not face potential jail time or a criminal conviction under Maryland law but may face different potential penalties depending upon the number of prior offenses. There are also other special considerations and defenses that may apply to some people suffering from certain medical conditions.
Experienced With Possession Cases in Both the State and Federal Courts in Maryland
Attorney William A. Stavros is experienced at handling possession cases in both the State and Federal Court systems in Maryland. Simple possession on Federal property is subject to Federal procedures and Federal law. Some options and outcomes available in State Court are not available in Federal Court and vise versa. Contact Mr. Stavros today to discuss your particular situation.
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or (410) 825-3300 to schedule your free consultation.