Maryland residents know that being arrested on drug charges is an extremely serious matter. They also know that heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs and that the state has serious penalties for individuals who are involved with this substance. Here is a brief overview of the state laws with regard to heroin possession and sale.
Maryland places controlled dangerous substances into five categories. Heroin falls into Schedule I or the most serious category. Being charged with possession of heroin is usually considered a felony in the state. However, if this is the individual's first charged offense, it's possible that the charges may be reduced to a misdemeanor if the individual is caught in possession of a small amount of the substance. If someone is arrested with larger amounts of heroin in their possession, the state treats the crime as a felony and, accordingly, the punishment is harsher with prison sentences of up to 20 years and fines that can reach $25,000.
If someone is charged with the sale of heroin in the state, the penalties are just as severe as those for possessing the substance. The sale of heroin is a felony and can draw a prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $25,000. If the same person is later convicted of a subsequent heroin offense, then these penalties can include a fine of $100,000 and a prison sentence of 10 years. Additional convictions will bring even stronger penalties.
Penalties are harsher for anyone convicted of drug trafficking. However, any Maryland resident who has been accused of a crime involving drug charges may want to speak with a criminal defense attorney in order to fully understand the severity of the charges they are facing.
Source: wau.edu, "CDS laws in Maryland," Accessed Sep. 20, 2015