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Prosecution of Maryland Federal Drug Cases

In prosecuting a federal drug case, Maryland prosecutors will attempt to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt by examining multiple areas. Among these are possession, intent, and drug paraphernalia. Witnesses will be called to the stand, and evidence will be presented to a group of grand jurors, who will deliberate on all of the information presented to them. If the prosecution is able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, then it is highly likely there will be a conviction. It is imperative to retain the services of an experienced Maryland federal drug attorney, as they will be able to provide you with the aggressive defense necessary for this case.

What Must be Proven in a Maryland Federal Drug Case

Most of the time in drug cases, the burden for the government is to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. What they must prove varies depending on the charges. Most drug cases with the government involve some element of possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Possession

  • Possession does not mean ownership. When a person is charged with a federal drug offense in Maryland and it is a possession charge, the prosecutor must demonstrate only that the particular controlled dangerous substance was found to be in the person’s possession. This is an important distinction and is why people should be careful about what is allowed in their car or home. They could be prosecuted for possession, even if the substance does not belong to them.

Intent

  • Something else a prosecutor might have to prove are the elements of intent. For example, if they are trying to prove the person in possession had the intent to distribute a particular controlled dangerous substance, this is not just proving that a person was in possession of something; the prosecution must also prove that the person had the intention of distributing the substance to other people.

Other Factors

  • Prosecutors might use external factors such as the amount of substance that was present, and any scales or baggies that were found that would be indicative of distribution. If there was a large amount of money also found in the same premises, that would be indicative of distribution. Sometimes the prosecutor may call an expert witness who would state, “Yes, I have seen a number of prior distribution situations and what is seen here is consistent with somebody who is distributing a controlled dangerous substance.”

These are all varying strategies that the government might employ to meet their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a particular matter. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a question that is difficult to answer. It is an argument in every single criminal case with the prosecution. In most jury instructions, this is meant to say that somebody makes a decision about a particular matter in the same way they would in their regular personal life without reservations.

That is essentially how beyond a reasonable doubt is described. It does not mean that the juror does not believe the person did not commit the crime. It means the juror has reasons to doubt that the burden was actually satisfied by the government during the course of the criminal trial when the evidence was presented.

What to Know About US Attorneys in the Fourth Circuit

The US attorneys, particularly in the Fourth Circuit jurisdiction, are all very smart. They are well-trained and do not take on cases that they do not believe to be strong. The US attorneys spend a great deal of time investigating their matters and have very good relationships with the special agents and other investigative units handling any particular case. They have a very good understanding of what their burden is in any particular case before they take it on.

The prosecution’s success rate at the US Attorney’s Office in this circuit is extremely high, which means that they are unsuccessful in very few cases.

It is important to recognize that this is a very strong office with a very solid reputation and these people are very much prepared for a long fight. They have the resources for it, if they are planning on charging a person with a criminal act. Having an experienced Maryland federal drug attorney is crucial because they will fight for you against the vigor of the prosecution.