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Can you avoid a permanent record for Maryland drug charges?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2022 | Drug Charges

Getting caught while in possession of a prohibited substance can lead to major criminal charges. A conviction with a drug offense can affect everything from your short-term eligibility for financial aid for higher education to your long-term eligibility for certain kinds of professional licensing.

Anyone from a landlord to a prospective future employer will be able to perform a background check and quickly verify that you have had a brush with the criminal justice system related to drugs. You may find yourself facing denied opportunities and serious social stigma because of a previous arrest.

For some people, getting arrested is the wake-up call that they need to address their substance abuse issues and get their life back on track. Can you potentially avoid a permanent criminal record after an arrest for Maryland drug offenses?

There are two common approaches to avoid a criminal record

Not every drug arrest will saddle you with a permanent criminal record. The first and most obvious means of avoiding a permanent criminal record for a recent drug offense arrest involves mounting a thorough defense against those charges. From providing an alibi to challenging claims of constructive possession over drugs found in your vehicle, there are numerous defense strategies that could help you successfully avoid a criminal conviction.

However, sometimes there is clear evidence connecting you to an offense, or you believe that you would benefit from treatment to overcome a substance abuse issue. In such scenarios, you could potentially seek pretrial diversion through the Maryland drug courts.

The drug courts provide an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system. The courts provide both oversight and treatment to help those accused of addiction-related offenses resolve their underlying substance abuse disorder. Those who successfully complete drug court requirements can avoid a criminal conviction and therefore prevent a criminal record from holding them back for years to come.

Reviewing the prosecutor’s case can help you decide the best approach

A thorough understanding of state law and a comprehensive review of the evidence against you will typically play a role in any successful criminal defense strategy. Choosing the right approach often depends on understanding the law that led to the charges and making use of the discovery process that gives you access to state evidence.

Properly responding to Maryland drug charges will help you move on with your life afterward.