Experienced Marijuana Defense Attorney in Bowie and Crofton
Fighting for the rights of those accused of drug crimes in throughout Maryland
Despite the recent legalization of marijuana possession for personal use in several states, it is still a crime in Maryland, punishable as a misdemeanor with a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of $1,000 or both.
At Carey Law Office, we are your partner in facing criminal charges, building a strong defense, and finding a way to achieve your goals. We offer a confidential consultation at our offices in Crofton and Bowie, so that you can get the answers you need regarding your case. When you need help, we are there.
Civil penalties for marijuana possession
This is what the law says:
Possession of small amounts of marijuana: (Md. Ann. Code § 5-601) A police officer shall issue a citation to a person who the police officer has probable cause to believe has committed a violation of § 5-601 of this part involving the use or possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.
(b) Civil offense. —
(1) A violation of § 5-601 of this part involving the use or possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is a civil offense.
(2) Adjudication of a violation under § 5-601 of this part involving the use or possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana:
(i) is not a criminal conviction for any purpose; and
(ii) does not impose any of the civil disabilities that may result from a criminal conviction.
This is what the law means: the state of Maryland has deemed the possession of under 10 grams of marijuana a civil offense, not a criminal one. Therefore, you cannot be charged with a crime for possessing fewer than 10 grams of marijuana.
The civil penalty for a first-offense possession of a small amount of marijuana is a $100 fine. Because this is no longer considered a crime, those who have been convicted of possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana can have their records expunged.
The fine for a second offense is $250, and the fine for a third or subsequent offense is up to $500. There is a civil fine for using marijuana in a public place of up to $500. Anyone younger than 21 years of age who is cited for a small amount of marijuana possession must appear in court to answer the citation. They may be ordered to participate in drug treatment. After a third offense, adults over the age of 21 may be ordered to participate in drug treatment.
Criminal penalties for marijuana
If you possess 10 grams or more of marijuana, you can face more severe penalties and fines. The crime of possession of between 10 grams and less than 50 pounds of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor. The possession of more than 50 pounds. is a felony. Penalties include one year to five years in jail, and fines between $100 and $100,000.
Depending on how much marijuana is found on your person or in your possession, you may also be charged with intent to sell or distribute the drug. The penalties can range anywhere from one year to 40 years (if you have been convicted before), and fines can range between $1,000 and $1,000,000.
Trafficking marijuana is a felony, with sentence enhancements when a firearm is involved. Marijuana trafficking has a penalty of anywhere from five to 20 years in jail, and fines ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
Possessing drug paraphernalia can be a civil offense or a misdemeanor, with a jail term of between two and eight years and fines of up to $15,000.
Working with an experienced Bowie drug crimes attorney is the right step
Maryland takes drug crimes seriously, and the penalties can be steep when it is a second or subsequent offense, or when drugs are sold in a school zone. Regardless of the nature of the charges against you, you have rights both under Maryland law and the U.S. Constitution. At Carey Law Office, our primary goal is to get your charges dropped. If that is not possible, we build a strong defense on your behalf to get your charges reduced and focus on alternatives to jail time, like rehabilitation.
If this is your first offense, you may be able to enter a treatment program, or be granted probation. At Carey Law Office, we will aggressively defend you and propose alternatives to the court to keep you out of jail if possible. In other cases, there may be an option to consider a plea bargain. When you work with a skilled Bowie criminal defense attorney, you will never feel alone and unsure of which option to choose. With nearly four decades of experience helping countless people in situations similar to yours, you can rest assured that we will help you work things out. We are not here to judge your actions or decisions; we are here to protect your rights when you have been accused of a drug crime.
Schedule a consultation with a skilled Bowie and Crofton drug crime attorney
If you have been charged with marijuana possession or any other drug crimes, Carey Law Office is here to fight for your rights. From our office locations in Bowie and Crofton, we serve clients throughout Maryland. You may call 301-464-2500 or fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation today.