Skilled Defense Against Minor Marijuana Criminal Charges
In 2014, the state of Maryland changed its law to decriminalize adult possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana for personal use. That was a very positive step, but problems remain.
Under the new law, an adult can legally have a small amount (just over a third of an ounce) of cannabis on hand for personal use. If discovered by the police, it is a civil infraction, not a crime. The charge is no more serious than a traffic infraction, and a first offense results in a $100 fine. However, if you are caught again, the fine increases.
As of 2018, possession of marijuana paraphernalia and smoking weed in public are also civil offenses. These offenses will cost you $500 in fines, but no jail time.
Before you decide to risk maintaining a personal stash, keep in mind what Maryland’s law does not resolve:
- Possession with intent to distribute cannabis is still a criminal act and may be either a felony or a misdemeanor.
- Driving while impaired by marijuana is still illegal.
- People under 18 cannot possess any amount of marijuana.
At The Law Offices of Richard B. Rosenblatt, PC, in Rockville, we provide dedicated, effective defense of people charged with misdemeanor drug crimes in Maryland. We know that any drug arrest is a big deal for you and your family. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers will fight for your rights and help you minimize the consequences.
Limiting The Consequences Of Misdemeanor Marijuana Crimes
Paying a citation with no possibility for jail time is far different from a criminal conviction. If you have been arrested for misdemeanor possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), misdemeanor possession with intent to distribute or DUI-marijuana, you have legal options.
Before agreeing to plead guilty, it is important to talk to an attorney first. You may not realize how serious the consequences may be. A drug conviction, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, creates a black mark on your criminal record. This can be used against you in several important ways:
- A misdemeanor marijuana conviction could get you deported — even if you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder)
- Any drug conviction could threaten your professional license
- A misdemeanor conviction could result in school discipline
- A drug conviction could make you ineligible for certain jobs and benefit programs
- Drug convictions appear on employers’ and landlords’ background checks
- You could lose your job for smoking marijuana, even for medical purposes
- A landlord can evict you if you use a controlled substance in your unit
- DUI-marijuana carries most of the same penalties as DUI-alcohol
Fighting Controlled Dangerous Substance Charges
Criminal marijuana and other drug possession charges are not the same thing as a conviction. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys will fight hard for the best outcome available in your situation.
We will thoroughly investigate the charges against you, obtaining copies of the police record, witness statements and other evidence. Did the police have the right to arrest you? Did they perform the search legally? Did they have a good reason, or probable cause, to pull you over in the first place? We ask these important questions to ensure they did not violate your constitutional rights.
Depending on your case, we may seek a dismissal or reduction of the charges. In other situations, we may negotiate a plea bargain. In appropriate circumstances, we may be able to get you into a court-ordered substance abuse program instead of jail. If your best option is to fight the charges in court, we are experienced trial attorneys who are ready, willing and able to bring your case before a judge and jury.
Get The Answers You Need During A Free Initial Consultation
For aggressive representation by an attorney who will take your minor marijuana case seriously, contact The Law Offices of Richard B. Rosenblatt, PC, in Rockville today. Call 301-637-0402 or 866-930-0413 or email us to schedule your no-cost confidential case review.