Many Maryland residents may already know that the State Assembly recently reduced the criminal penalties for possession of marijuana. However, even with this development, the Assembly has not changed the penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia and if a resident is found in possession of this material, he or she may still incur significant consequences.
Drug paraphernalia is a term that describes any item that is associated with illegal drugs. This can refer to many different articles but is primarily used to describe items such as a crack pipe, a marijuana bowl or pipe or a hypodermic syringe. It can even refer to the residue of a narcotic or a written description of a device that explains its use.
Penalties for drug paraphernalia possession in Maryland can differ based on whether the offender has been charged with the same crime before. Generally speaking, first time offenders who are convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia will receive a fine of $500 without any prison sentence. But if someone is convicted a second time of possession of drug paraphernalia, the penalties can increase significantly. These can include a $2000 fine and up to two years in prison.
An even more serious charge in Maryland is selling or delivering drug paraphernalia. While this is still considered a misdemeanor crime in the state, penalties for this can include a prison term of up to eight years and a $15,000 fine.
Even though these drug charges are considered misdemeanors, it is important for any Maryland resident to carefully consider hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. That is because even a first time conviction for drug paraphernalia may possibly lead to a permanent criminal record.
Source: www.patch.com, "Can I be arrested for possessing drug paraphernalia?," Accessed July 5, 2015