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The penalties for illegally possessing prescription drugs

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Drug Charges

It is an offense to possess controlled drugs in Maryland without a valid prescription. You risk serious legal consequences, including jail time, if found guilty. Understanding these penalties can help you grasp the gravity of your situation and respond accordingly.

The legal penalties for illegal possession of a prescription drug depend on the specific drug, the amount involved and other circumstances of your case. For instance, possessing a small amount of a prescription drug for personal use is a misdemeanor that may result in an imprisonment term not exceeding one year or a fine of up to $5,000 or both. 

The penalties become harsher for repeat offenders under similar circumstances. You could be jailed for up to 18 months and/or fined $5,000 if it’s your second or third offense and up to two years in prison and/or a $5.000 fine for a fourth conviction. 

You could face felony charges

It is a felony offense in Maryland to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. If you are found with a sufficient quantity of prescription drugs to reasonably indicate an intent to distribute, the law prescribes a prison term not exceeding five years or a $15,000 fine or both. 

The presence of aggravating factors like the presence of minors around the drugs, proximity to schools or previous criminal history may enhance these penalties. The type of drug also matters. Possessing certain dangerous prescription drugs like fentanyl or its variations attracts heftier penalties.

With so much at stake, seeking legal guidance is in your best interests when facing such charges. It can help you protect your rights and understand the options based on the specifics of your case. Your future is worth protecting, so take the necessary steps to ensure you make informed decisions moving forward.