Possessing drugs—whether they’re meant for personal use or to be distributed or sold—is a crime under both federal law and Maryland State law. Drug possession can be an issue on college campuses, where the desire to experiment with drugs and the chance to make extra money selling drugs culminates in a culture where drug possession and recreational use is a common part of everyday culture.
If you are a Loyola University student and you have been charged with drug possession, you are encouraged to seek legal help immediately. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice’s drug possession lawyers for Loyola students can provide you with the representation you need to fight for your rights and challenge the case against you. Students of Loyola University who need help defending themselves against drug possession charges should get in touch with the lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice as soon as possible. Call (410) 694-7291 to set up a free consultation today.
Drug Schedule Classifications and Their Penalties in Maryland
In the State of Maryland, it is illegal to possess drugs in any of the designated “Schedules.” In Maryland, like most states, the drug classification Schedules are the same as the federal classifications:
These are considered to be the most dangerous drugs due to a high risk of physical and psychological abuse or dependency and a lack a commonly accepted medical use. Schedule I drugs include heroin, marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote. It should be noted that although marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, it is treated differently than other Schedule I substances. In Maryland, individuals possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana are charged with a civil offense and face a fine instead of criminal charges.
Schedule II substances, like Schedule I substances, have a high risk of physical and psychological abuse or dependency, but they are approved for medical use under certain circumstances. Substance II substances include cocaine, Vicodin, Oxycodone, methamphetamines, Ritalin, Adderall, and opium.
These drugs are substances that have been approved for medical use and can be prescribed by a doctor, often with the option to refill. However, they still carry a risk of abuse and dependency. Suboxone, codeine, ketamine, and anabolic steroids are classified as Schedule III substances and are illegal without a prescription.
As medically approved substances with a low risk of abuse, Schedule IV substances present fewer dangers to those that use them. Schedule IV substances include Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and sleep aids such as Ambien.
Schedule V substances are those that carry low risk of abuse and dependency and are often available to buy without a prescription. This Schedule includes cough suppressants and pain medications.
Penalties for Drug Possession Crimes in Maryland
The penalties for drug possession vary based on the type of drug and the number of prior convictions the defendant has:
Defendants who have been convicted of possessing or administering a controlled dangerous substance (besides marijuana, which has its own penalties) will face the following penalties:
- One year of jail and a fine up to $5,000 for a first conviction
- 18 months of jail and a fine of $5,000 for a second or third conviction
- Two years of jail and a fine of $5,000 for a fourth or subsequent conviction
Possessing marijuana in the State of Maryland carries less severe penalties than possession of other controlled substances. Possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana in Maryland will result in the following penalties:
- A fine up to $100 for a first finding of guilt
- A fine up to $250 for a second finding of guilt
- A fine up to $500 for a third finding of guilt
People under the age of 21 who are found guilty of possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana will be required to attend a drug education program approved by the Maryland Department of Health.
There is also a mandatory five-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $100,000 for possessing large amounts of certain substances. These penalties cover at least 50 pounds of marijuana, 448 grams of cocaine, 16 ounces of PCP, 448 grams of meth, or 28 grams of opium, morphine or heroin.
Types of Drug Possession Charges Loyola Students Can Face
Drug possession charges may be one of two categories. The first is simple possession, which means that the drug was intended to be used for personal purposes. The second category of drug possession is possession with intent to distribute, which means that the person possessing it intended to sell it or give it to someone else. Possession with intent to distribute is characterized by larger amounts of drugs and is usually accompanied by things that help a person sell drugs, such as scales and tiny bags. Drug possession with intent to distribute charges carry much higher penalties.
There are also two types of possession you can be charged with based on where the drugs were found. The first is known as actual possession, and it means that the drugs were found on the person. The other type, constructive possession, means that the drugs were found in the person’s control, but not necessarily on them. This is common in cases where drugs are found in your car or in your home or dorm. It is common for there to be more than one defendant in constructive drug possession cases, as anyone with knowledge of the drugs and access to them can be charged.
Drug Possession Criminal Defense Lawyer for Loyola University Students
Loyola University students don’t have to face their drug possession charges alone. The Maryland drug possession lawyers from the Law Offices of Randolph Rice bring decades worth of experiences to all of their clients’ cases. We are prepared to help students of Loyola University craft solid defenses for their drug possession charges. Get in touch with us today. Call (410) 694-7291 for more information.