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Penalties for Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances and Related Offenses To Increase in Maryland

Penalties for Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances

The Maryland General Assembly has enacted new legislation to increase the Penalties for Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances and Related Offenses. If you have been charged with possession or distribution of CDS in Maryland, call our office to schedule a free consultation.

We have complied a chart of the new penalties and the old penalties below.  The new penalties take affect on October 1, 2016. Which means, any crime committed after October 1, 2016 is subject to the increased penalties in Maryland Court.

Penalties for Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances and Related Offenses

Penalties for Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances and Related Offenses
Offense Penalty Prior to October 1, 2016 Penalty After October 1, 2016
CDS (Other than Schedule I or II Narcotic Drugs and Other Specified CDS)
First-time Offender Maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or $15,000 fine Maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or $15,000 fine
Repeat Offender 2-year mandatory minimum sentence. Maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or $15,000 fine Maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or $15,000 fine
CDS (Schedule I or II Narcotic Drug & Specified Drugs)
First-time Offender Maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or $25,000 fine Maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or $25,000 fine
Second-time Offender 10-year mandatory minimum sentence (20 years maximum imprisonment) and a fine of up to $100,000 Maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or $25,000 fine
Third-time Offender 25-year mandatory minimum sentence and a fine of up to $100,000 Maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine (parole eligibility at 50% of sentence)
Fourth-time Offender 40-year mandatory minimum sentence and a fine of up to $100,000 Maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine (parole eligibility at 50% of sentence)

Drug Possession

The bill reduces the maximum criminal penalties for the possession or administration of a CDS. A violation is a misdemeanor subject to (1) for a first conviction, imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $5,000; (2) for a second or third conviction, imprisonment for up to 18 months and/or a fine of up to $5,000; and (3) for a fourth or subsequent conviction, imprisonment for up to two years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, except when in possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, penalties are altered to establish that a defendant in possession of marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment for up to 6 months and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Drug Distribution

The bill repeals mandatory minimum penalties applicable to a repeat drug offender (or conspirator) convicted of specified felony crimes involving CDS and establishes new maximum penalties. In addition, the authorization to double penalties for specified subsequent drug offenders is made applicable only when the person has also been previously convicted of a crime of violence. Exhibit 1 shows the altered penalties.

If you’ve been charged with drug possession or drug distribution in Maryland, contact attorney Randolph Rice, a drug defense attorney in Maryland at 410.288.2900.

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