Busted for Intent to Distribute Drugs in Maryland? Here’s What You Need to Know 5-602. et, seq.
Although a lot of places in the United States have legalized some drugs (like marijuana), Maryland is not one of them at the present time; we are just now legalizing for medical purposes. However, check back in a few short years after the tax revenue administration sees how much revenue other states are making from the sale of this drug and I am sure you will find a different position from the Maryland State legislature.
You can be arrested and charged with intent to distribute drugs for anything that is illegal in Maryland – including marijuana and prescription drugs. Depending upon the type of drug you are caught with, you can face a very long prison sentence if convicted. If you are not caught with hard street drugs (drugs that are considered Schedule I and II drugs by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration), the maximum sentence is usually up to five years; if they are hard drugs, you could face up to 20 years. The penalties for drug distribution are enhanced (increased) under special provisions of Maryland law about persons that have large quantities of drugs are arrested for intent to distribute drugs.
There are special “volume dealer” and “drug kingpin” provisions in Maryland criminal law that states that anyone that is caught with large quantities of drugs (see amounts below) can be sentenced to jail for not less than five years and fined not more than $100,000 (volume dealer) or sentenced to jail for 20-40 years and fined up to $1,000,000 (for drug kingpin). A drug kingpin is a person who organizes, supervises, finances, or manages as part of a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense, transport in, or bring into the State:
- 50 pounds or more of marijuana;
- 448 grams or more of cocaine or any mixture containing a detectable amount of cocaine;
- 50 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as “crack”;
- 28 grams or more of morphine or opium or any derivative, salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer of morphine or opium or any mixture containing 28 grams or more of morphine or opium or any derivative, salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer of morphine or opium;
- 1,000 dosage units or more of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or any mixture containing the equivalent of 1,000 dosage units of lysergic acid diethylamide;
- 16 ounces or more of liquid phencyclidine or 448 grams or more of any mixture containing phencyclidine;
- 448 grams or more of methamphetamine; or any mixture containing 448 grams or more of methamphetamine.
As you can see from the above list, the law is very specific about the amount and type of drugs that can put you at risk for being called a drug dealer and consequently subject you to a much longer prison sentence.
You should also know that you can be charged with intent to distribute drugs for selling or giving away prescription drugs. Many people do not understand that it is a crime to give their prescription drugs to someone else, but in Maryland it is considered a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.
If you are arrested and charged with intent to distribute drugs, you need the help of an aggressive and experienced Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney. There is much to consider in these types of cases such as did the person possess the drugs, are they in fact drugs, did the police properly obtain and execute a warrant to secure the alleged drugs, can the government prove they were drugs, were they the defendant’s drugs, did the police properly hand the chain of custody after the arrest? Contact Robinson & Associates as soon as practicable following an arrest for an immediate and free consultation 443-524-7395.