Drug-related charges can range anywhere from minor offenses (like drug possession and drug paraphernalia) to more serious offenses (like felony possession with intent to distribute or distribution of a drug). In Maryland, if a person is caught with very large amounts of drugs, there is a ‘Drug Kingpin’ statute that could carry a mandatory minimum of 25 years.
Maryland federal drug charges can lead to several years in prison and expensive fines. If you are facing charges, contact an accomplished federal drug lawyer today.
What happens with a drug charge often depends on how the case is initiated. Many times they are initiated by a traffic stop. If a certain amount of illegal drugs are found, the officer will arrest the person in the car that is in possession of the drug and sometimes they will arrest everyone in the car and charge them with possession. Usually, that kind of an arrest is taken to court to be presented to a judge, a magistrate, or a Commissioner. Most of the time, the persons charged will be able to be released from jail on a personal recognizance. They are moving away from bail, so there is more personal recognizance relief, especially in Maryland.
Court dates are set for preliminary hearings and trial. It is crucial for a defendant to retain an attorney to represent them as early as possible in the process so if there is an opportunity for a Diversion Program, they can help set it up so that the charged person does not miss that opportunity. If there is a case that needs to be put together for trial and witnesses need to be interviewed or other preparations need to be made, the attorney will want to start on that as early as possible. And if there are motions to be filed to protect the charged person’s constitutional rights, they want to make sure they do that as well. If they do not file those motions on time, they can be treated as having waived their right to suppress the drugs or other evidence that is seized or statements that were made. When facing Maryland federal drug charges, it is imperative to obtain a skilled lawyer as soon as possible.
When a person gets arrested, the arrest becomes a public record. If a person is applying for a job, potentially an employer could check that public database to see if they have any criminal record before and an arrest will potentially show up if they had it expunged. That is another reason to have an attorney to try and deal with these cases and either get it dismissed or diverted, and then expunged.
Getting locked up for a drug offense is the immediate consequence that a person could face. An arrest will go on the individual’s record which could carry other repercussions. For example, they could lose their job or have trouble finding housing if they have a drug arrest on their record. The person could also be looking at jail time and expensive fines. Federal drug offenses carry significant penalties. Therefore, if you are facing Maryland federal drug charges, you should call an accomplished lawyer right away.