Bowie and Crofton Cocaine Defense Attorney
Strong advocates for clients fighting drug crimes throughout Maryland
Possession of illegal drugs is one of the most common reasons for arrest in Maryland and throughout the United States. The FBI Uniform Crime Report states that there were 1,632,921 arrests for drug violations in the United States in 2017; 85.4% of those arrests were for possession of a controlled substance, and 14.6% were for the sale or manufacturing of a drug.
Cocaine is one of the deadliest drugs because of how incredibly addictive it is. Law enforcement is constantly being pulled in two directions—while it is their duty to arrest people who break the law, they are aware that addiction and dependence causes people to make unwise choices in the attempt to get drugs. Over time, law enforcement has increased their emphasis on apprehending those trafficking and selling dangerous drugs like cocaine and allowing those with first offenses for the possession of small amounts to get help through drug treatment programs.
Maryland cocaine possession charges
The Maryland Criminal Code says “a person may not possess or administer to another a controlled dangerous substance, unless obtained directly or by prescription or order from an authorized provider acting in the course of professional practice.” In short, you cannot have controlled substances unless you have a prescription, and you cannot give a controlled substance to another person unless he or she has a prescription for that medication.
In Maryland, the possession of a small amount of cocaine (28 grams) or less is a misdemeanor, but it carries the prospect of a serious jail sentence of up to four years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Cocaine is a Schedule II narcotic controlled dangerous substance, and the penalties for the possession, trafficking or sale of cocaine increases in severity depending on the weight of drugs seized, and whether you have prior criminal convictions.
Penalties for the possession of larger amounts of cocaine, or the sale or distribution
Distributing, possessing with intent to distribute, or dispensing a CDS is a felony—a person convicted of any of these crimes is subject to up to 20 years in jail, a fine not exceeding $15,000, or both. For subsequent offenses, the penalties increase. For a third offense, the penalty could be up to 25 years, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. For a fourth offense, the consequences could be 40 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
For any of these Maryland drug crime offenses, a person might also be sentenced to participate in a drug treatment program.
Enhancements to penalties for cocaine charges
In the same way that prior drug crime convictions can lead to more severe penalties, buying or selling cocaine in a drug-free school zone, or near a playground or child care center, will increase the already severe penalties as well.
Additionally, if a person who used drugs dies of an overdose, the authorities will do everything in their power to find every individual involved with the sale of the substance that caused the person’s death and will prosecute them all.
Federal cocaine charges
Charges for possession with intent to distribute, sale, distribution, and trafficking of cocaine can sometimes carry federal charges. On the federal level, you can be charged with participating in a drug conspiracy—this means two or more people allegedly conspired or agreed to commit a crime violating federal drug laws. Federal charges carry significantly harsher penalties (longer prison times and larger fines) than state charges.
If you are facing federal drug charges, you may also be subject to forfeiture and seizure of any property related to the offense. Carey Law Office can defend you in federal drug crime cases regardless of how complex your charges may be.
Federal sentencing guidelines are complicated, but we have significant expertise in federal law and procedures. We are here to help you avoid the many pitfalls of dealing with federal sentencing guidelines. Having a skilled Bowie criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference in how your case turns out.
How a drug crime conviction can affect your life
A drug crime conviction will be a serious mark on your criminal record. You may be unable to get or keep job that involves a background check. After a felony conviction, you may lose your right to own a firearm or run for public office. Additionally, those convicted of dangerous felonies cannot obtain or hold a professional license or security clearance, and are ineligible to receive federal financial aid government-subsidized housing.
Even after the time spent in prison and the fines paid, a drug crime conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. Once you’re ready to move on in a new direction, overcoming these obstacles will be incredibly challenging.
What can a Bowie drug crimes attorney do to help your case?
When you are facing such serious consequences, it is urgent that you contact an experienced Bowie criminal defense attorney right away, so we can begin to develop an effective strategy for your defense.
At Carey Law Office, we are here to protect your future by providing professional representation. We guide you through the criminal justice system and aggressively defend you against all charges. You need an experienced advocate to face prosecutors eager to hand out harsh sentences. A single mistake does not have to ruin the rest of your life; that’s why we do everything we can to fight for your chance of living the life you planned.
An experienced Bowie and Crofton defense lawyer handling cocaine-related charges
Cocaine is a dangerously addictive drug, and getting caught with it can have serious consequences. At Carey Law Office, we are here to protect the rights of our clients who are facing cocaine charges. We have offices in Bowie and Crofton, and we serve clients throughout Maryland. You are welcome to call 301-464-2500 or fill out the contact form to schedule a confidential consultation.