College is meant to be one of the most fun and important experiences of our lives. During this time, students are given a newfound freedom to explore the world and try to find their path in life. However, for some, this freedom can end up being too much of a good thing. Some students may find themselves experimenting with substances like illegal drugs, whether for the thrill or to try to get their minds off the stresses of college life. Being caught with illegal drugs is no joke, as it can derail not only your academic career but your entire future. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, our drug possession defense attorneys for Johns Hopkins students have years of experience successfully helping defend young people against all types of drug charges and move on with the rest of their lives. For a free consultation, call our firm today at (410) 694-7291.
Types of Illegal Drugs for Johns Hopkins Students to Possess
In Maryland, much like in the federal government, controlled substances are classified into different “schedules” depending on whether the state believes they have any sort of medical use.
Schedule I Drugs
Schedule I Drugs are the most serious types of controlled substances in the state of Maryland. If a drug is on Schedule I, this means that the state believes there is no legitimate medical use for this drug and that it has an extremely high potential for abuse. Heroin, ecstasy, LSD, and marijuana are examples of Schedule I drugs. Note that although marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance, it is longer dealt with the same way as other drugs in the state of Maryland. A new law has made possession of marijuana a civil offense, resulting in fines only, rather than a criminal one that could result in jail time.
Schedule II Drugs
Schedule II drugs are also considered to have very high abuse potential. However, unlike Schedule I drugs, there are certain situations in which there may be a valid medical use for these drugs. This list includes cocaine, Vicodin, Oxycodone, methamphetamines, Ritalin, Adderall, and opium.
Schedule III Drugs
Schedule III drugs are still considered to have a high potential for abuse, but are commonly prescribed by doctors. If you have a prescription, possession of the drug is legal, but without a prescription using or possessing these drugs is against the law. Some of these drugs include suboxone, codeine, ketamine, and anabolic steroids.
Schedule IV Drugs
These drugs are often prescribed by doctors and come with less abuse potential, but are still illegal to possess without a prescription. They include Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ambien.
Schedule V Drugs
These drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and can often be bought over the counter. They include things like cough syrup that people abuse by drinking too much. Although it is illegal to possess these medicines for abuse, because they are available without a prescription such charges are difficult to prove and are rarely brought.
Types of Drug Possession for John Hopkins Students
Drug possession can be charged for actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession occurs when the illegal substances are found on your person during a search. Constructive possession occurs when the drugs are found in an area under your control. For example, if the drugs are found under your dorm room bed or in the glove compartment of your car, you could be charged with constructive possession.
While simple possession is a serious charge, possession with the intent to distribute is even more serious. This crime will be charged if the police believe the drugs they discover were not just for personal use but for selling or giving to others. The police will often use the quantity of the drugs discovered or the presence of tools for distribution like a scale to prove possession with the intent to distribute.
Penalties for Drug Possession at Johns Hopkins
Simple possession will result in the same potential criminal penalties regardless of the drug, except for in the case of marijuana. For a first-time possession conviction, you can face year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. For a second or third conviction, you can face 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. For a fourth or subsequent conviction, you can face up to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. For marijuana, the legislature has made the crime a civil infraction. So long as you are in possession of 10 grams or less, you are subject to a civil fine of $100 for your first conviction, $250 for your first conviction, and $500 for a third conviction.
If you are convicted of possession with the intent to distribute, you will face much higher penalties including up to 5 years imprisonment and fines up to $15,000. Higher fines and jail time can also occur for possession of drugs in large quantities like 50 grams or more.
Note that, as a Johns Hopkins student, if you are found possessing drugs on campus you are also likely to go through a separate disciplinary proceeding through the university. The university can impose sanctions including suspension or even expulsion in extreme cases. It is important to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer representing you at both your criminal and school proceedings.
If You Are a Johns Hopkins Student Charged with Drug Possession, Call Our Attorneys Today
A drug possession charge can have long-lasting consequences for a young person trying to start out their life. Aside from the potential jail time and fines, you could end up with a criminal record that indicates you have a drug problem. This can make potential employers think twice before hiring you. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, our experienced drug possession lawyers for Johns Hopkins students will work tirelessly to get your charges dismissed or downgraded so that you can move on with your life. Call us today at (410) 694-7291 for a free consultation.