If you are using any type of drug - marijuana, heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs - the amount you have can make a big difference if police catch you.
Here in Maryland, if you are caught with a large quantity of drugs, law enforcement may charge you with possession with intent to distribute. This could mean you are facing a felony charge with a mandatory minimum jail sentence instead of a possession misdemeanor.
Suspected drug dealers face extremely serious charges
All drug distribution-related charges are felonies in Maryland, and a conviction could have serious, long-term effects on your future. It will be hard to find a job, housing or financial aid. Additionally, you could lose your right to vote or legally own a firearm.
A common example may be someone who has a large amount of marijuana plants in their home and baggies that police may think will be used to package the pot for individual sale. It does not matter if you were using all of the marijuana for yourself, you could still face intent to distribute charges.
While it is true that "intent" charges in many cases amount to nothing more than thought crimes, you must take them extremely seriously. While states like Maryland have taken measures to help drug addicts from having their futures derailed by a drug charge, law enforcement still takes charges involving distribution extremely seriously. If you are branded a drug dealer, you should expect serious charges to follow.
You cannot fight these charges alone
Whether a felony or misdemeanor charge, you need legal representation in your corner. Even if you had no intent to distribute the drugs, you will not be able to talk your way out of it. An attorney will be able to gather important evidence to help your case and minimize the negative effects of a drug charge.