Laws regarding the distribution or trafficking of drugs in the state of Maryland penalize those who sell, transport and illegally import unlawful controlled substances. These substances include illegal drugs such as methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Punishments for the distribution of drugs vary depending on multiple factors, such as the drug amount involved, the type of drug, the geographic area in which the distribution took place and if you were targeting children.
Distribution versus possession
Distributing drugs is a felony crime and, thus, is more serious than simply possessing drugs. If police discover drugs in your possession, they may charge you with drug trafficking if they think you were planning to sell them. This is especially the case if police find you with large amounts of cash or drugs when they arrest you. The distribution of drugs applies not only to illegal drugs but also to prescription drugs that are being distributed illegally, such as sleeping pills and pain killers.
Drug distribution penalties
The most severe penalties related to the distribution of drugs in Maryland are reserved for those charged with being drug kingpins. A drug kingpin can expect to face a $1 million fine as well as no more than 40 years in prison, with a minimum of 20 years required. Meanwhile, you can face a maximum of 25 years in prison if you import a drug into Maryland or import at least 45 kilograms of marijuana into the state. Both of these charges carry a fine of $50,000.
Other charges that may lead to maximum prison sentences of 20 years include distributing a drug near a school, getting children involved in the delivery or manufacture of drugs and distributing at least 750 grams of MDMA, or Molly. Fines of $20,000 are imposed for these charges.
Going to trial
If you face charges involving the distribution of drugs, you are presumed innocent until and unless prosecutors can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney in Maryland, you have the right to proceed to trial to vigorously fight any charges, of which many can negatively impact your ability to land a job in the future. Your attorney will ensure that all of your relevant rights are upheld during the criminal proceedings and determine the best possible defense strategy for your situation.