Anyone who has watched the stark HBO series The Wire knows that the Baltimore drug trade has made its way into the national consciousness. Inside Maryland courthouses every week, drug crimes are being prosecuted. Maryland has battled the distribution of drugs like heroin for years. Primarily due to the increased violence surrounding certain drugs, Maryland authorities have cracked down heavily on both sale and possession of heroin.
State Heroin Laws
Heroin possession, sale, and trafficking are felony crimes in nearly every state. Possession of a small amount of the drug can lead to serious penalties in Maryland. Like heroin laws in other states, Maryland’s statutes increase in severity and punishment with multiple offenses.
Heroin Statutes in Maryland
The charges and penalties under Maryland's heroin laws are listed below in thiis brief summary of heroin laws in the state.
|Code Section||Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Title 5, Subtitle 1, Section 5-101 et seq.|
|Possession||Misdemeanor with penalty of up to 4 yrs. and/or $25,000; Bringing 4 g. into state: felony with penalty of up to $50,000 and/or up to 25 yrs.; Subsequent offense: double penalties|
|Sale||Felony with penalty of 20 yrs. and/or $25,000; Sale of more than 28 g.: not less than 40 yrs.; Subsequent offense: double penalties, 2 yrs. mandatory, not less than 10 yrs. sentence; 3rd offense: not less than 40 yrs. Sale to minors or near school property: stricter penalties|
|Trafficking||If "drug kingpin": 20-40 yrs. and/or $1,000,000|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Federal Heroin Laws
Illicit drugs like heroin are regulated by both federal and state drug laws, and these overlapping statutes can criminalize everything from mere possession all the way up to manufacturing and cultivation as well as trafficking and distribution. Although some prosecutors can and will offer plea bargains to lower-level drug offenders in exchange for help building a larger case against higher-level producers and dealers, most charge convictions can carry severe penalties, including prison time and heavy fines. That said, in recent years more jurisdictions have created specialized “drug courts” that can help drug crime defendants avoid jail sentences in lieu of drug treatment programs and other options.
Maryland Heroin Laws: Get a Free Initial Case Assessment
As you can see, the penalties for violating Maryland heroin laws will vary depending on the circumstances. If you've been charged under Maryland heroin laws, or other drug laws, it's a good idea to speak with a local drug crime lawyer who can advise you on your rights and your options moving forward.
Contact a qualified attorney.