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Cocaine-related crimes could come with serious penalties

Struggling with a serious condition is not easy, especially when that condition comes with a negative stigma. For instance, if you suffer from drug addiction, you may feel that other people are quick to judge you even though you feel helpless. Unfortunately, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness only keep you in the throes of addiction.

On top of feeling as if you cannot get out from under the control of a substance like cocaine, you could also wind up facing serious criminal charges if police suspect that you have committed cocaine-related crimes. If this happens, it is important that you understand what the charges and possible consequences could mean.

State-specific consequences

Charges and penalties related to drug offenses differ from state to state, and in some cases, federal laws may apply. In Maryland and all other states, you could face charges for drug possession, sale or distribution, or trafficking of cocaine. When it comes to possible penalties in this state, you could face the following consequences:

  • Possession of cocaine is considered a misdemeanor that could result in four years in jail and a possible fine of $25,000. However, the severity of the possession charge could increase depending on the amount of the substance and whether you have committed similar offenses before.
  • If you bring 28 grams of cocaine into the state, you could face a felony charge with the possibility of a $50,000 fine and up to 25 years in jail in the event of a conviction.
  • Distributing or selling cocaine is a felony offense that could lead to 20 years in jail and a possible $25,000 fine. If the sale involved over 448 grams of cocaine or over 50 grams of crack cocaine, a minimum of 40 years in jail could result from a conviction.
  • Trafficking cocaine could also come with severe penalties, and if state authorities consider you a high-ranking drug trafficker, you could face 20 to 40 years in jail and up to a $1,000,000 fine.

Of course, in order for any of these or other penalties to result, authorities would have to charge you, and a court would have to convict you of those charges.

Defending against charges

Undoubtedly, if you face charges for cocaine-related activity, you will want to defend against the allegations. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may have various legal options available to you. In order to find the best route for your case and to understand possible defense avenues, you may want to consult with an experienced defense attorney.

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