Maryland Drug Possession Laws

What Constitutes Possession? When Does Possession Involve an Intent to Sell?

What Constitutes Possession? When Does Possession Involve an Intent to Sell?In recent weeks, there has been much controversy in Baltimore, as the city’s State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, has dismissed approximately half of the narcotics cases brought to her, stating that she will no longer prosecute drug possession cases. The decision is a carryover from 2020, when the city sought to minimize the spread of the coronavirus in jails. Mosby stressed, however, that only cases of simple possession would be dismissed—a person who meets the criteria for possession with intent to distribute will still be prosecuted.

What Is Possession?

Under Maryland law, a person may be charged with possession for either having under his control, administering or attempting to obtain a controlled substance, unless the person has a prescription or order from an authorized provider. Furthermore, a person may still be charged with possession, even with a prescription/order, if there was:

  • Fraud, deception, misrepresentation or subterfuge’
  • Concealment of a material fact
  • Forgery or counterfeiting involving a prescription/written order
  • Use of a false name or identity

When Does Possession Rise to “Intent to Distribute”?

The distinction between possession and possession with intent to distribute is based on the quantity of the controlled substance. The quantity varies based on the specific controlled substance.

AV-Rated Frederick Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of proven experience to criminal defendants across the Baltimore metropolitan area and throughout the state of Maryland. He has been AV-rated (the highest possible) by his fellow attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. Attorney Smith has also been the recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, bestowed upon less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory. He’s been among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland listed by Super Lawyers, and has been honored as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine.

Attorney Smith brings considerable skill and experience to the defense of a wide range of criminal charges. He knows how to effectively gather, assess and preserve all evidence to support an acquittal. He has a comprehensive understanding of your constitutional rights and ensure that police and prosecutors followed all required procedures when gathering evidence or detaining you. He’ll carefully question all potential witnesses, so that he can prepare and present the most compelling arguments in your defense.

Smith has been included among the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization. He has also earned a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a litigation attorney from AVVO, as well as AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Ellicott City, Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Baltimore on Target to Match 2020 Homicide Toll

Tally Reaches 250 with 11 Murders in One Week

Baltimore on Target to Match 2020 Homicide TollThough it’s been the focus of continued efforts by police and politicians, the Baltimore homicide rate remains basically unchanged from last year, hitting the 250 mark earlier this month. The city reported 335 homicides during 2020, a slight drop from the 348 recorded in 2019. If the murder rate remains constant for the remaining three months of the year, the city will once again top 330.

Michael Harrison, Baltimore’s Police Commissioner, supports the city’s “Group Violence Reduction Strategy,” an approach that attempts to shift some of the responsibility for the alleviation of violence to community-based organizations, lightening the load for beleaguered police officers. The city attempted to implement the strategy in 2019, but leaders say it was ineffective because there was a lack of commitment across the board. They say it has a better chance of working now, as the mayor, prosecutors and law enforcement officers are all behind it.

Proven Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

For more than three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of people in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland who are under investigation for or have been charged with a crime. Super Lawyers puts him among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine named him a Top Rated Lawyer in 2012. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” organization, has also identified him as one of the top 100 attorneys in Maryland.

His colleagues in the legal profession have given him an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, awarded to less than 4% of all attorneys listed there.

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has listed attorney Smith as one of the “10 Best Attorneys in the State of Maryland in Client Satisfaction.” He has a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has earned the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Attorney Smith has long been known and respected for his knowledge, skill and extensive experience when handling criminal matters. He can quickly determine whether police have violated your constitutional rights in a search, seizure or arrest. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence, and has considerable experience successfully defending clients at trial.

Proven Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Greater Baltimore Area

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Pleading No Contest to a Criminal Charge in Maryland

What Does It Mean? What Is the Effect of Such a Plea?

Pleading No Contest to a Criminal Charge in MarylandWhen you’re arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Maryland, there are a number of ways to respond:

  • You can challenge the charges by pleading “not guilty.”
  • You can admit your culpability by pleading “guilty.”
  • You can argue that you lacked the legal capacity to commit a crime, i.e., that you are not responsible because of insanity or mental deficiency.
  • You can file a “nolo contendere,” or “no contest,” plea.

What Is a Nolo Contendere/No Contest Plea?

Pleading no contest is neither an admission of guilt nor an allegation that you did not commit the crime; it essentially tells the court you will not challenge or contest the prosecution. Before you can plead no contest in Maryland, you must obtain approval from the court. If the court grants your request, the judge will typically conduct an examination in order to determine the sentencing.

What Is the Impact of a No Contest Plea?

With a no contest plea, there is no admission of guilt and no determination of guilt by a jury. Accordingly, with certain types of infractions, such as traffic violations, nothing will go on your permanent record, and there won’t be any impact on your insurance rating. However, if you commit the same violation again, the no contest plea can be brought to the court’s attention at the time of sentencing.

AV-Rated Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of hands-on experience to criminal defendants across the greater Baltimore area and throughout the state of Maryland. He has been AV-rated (the highest rating possible) by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. Attorney Smith has also been the recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, given to less than 4% of all attorneys listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s directory. He’s been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland by Super Lawyers and honored as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith has extensive experience, skill, and knowledge in handling criminal defense matters. He’ll gather, assess, and preserve all evidence to support your acquittal and ensure that the police and prosecutors followed all constitutional requirements when gathering evidence or detaining you. He’ll interrogate all potential witnesses in order to prepare and present the most convincing arguments in your defense.

Smith has been named as one of the top 100 attorneys in Maryland by the National Trial Lawyers Association, a by-invitation-only professional organization. He has earned a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO and received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Howard County, Maryland, Criminal Defense Attorney

Contact our office by email or call 410-740-0101 for an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Baltimore Expecting 300+ Homicides for 7th Straight Year

City Officials Project More Than 1,000 Shootings in 2021

Baltimore Expecting 300+ Homicides for 7th Straight YearAs Baltimore moves into the second half of the year, city officials say little has changed with respect to the city’s murder rate—projections indicate homicides in the city will top 300 for the seventh consecutive year. As of the end of June, the city had confirmed 166 intentional killings.

City officials expressed optimism two years ago when a multi-tier plan was approved, emphasizing:

  • The reduction of illegal guns on Baltimore streets
  • A concerted effort to arrest and prosecute the city’s most violent offenders
  • Greater enforcement of domestic violence laws

Police officials say that, although crime numbers have remained the same, the number of arrests has declined dramatically—from nearly 7,500 a year ago to just under 5,700—due to a shortage of law enforcement officers.

Proven Frederick County Criminal Defense Lawyer

For more than three decades, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought to protect the rights of criminal defendants in Baltimore and across the state of Maryland. Attorney Smith has been listed among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland by SuperLawyers and was named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine in 2012. He has been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession (the highest rating possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System every year since 1988. He has also been honored with Martindale-Hubbell’s Client Distinction Award, given to less than 4% of all attorneys listed.

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has called Smith one of the 10 Best Attorneys in the State of Maryland in Client Satisfaction. The National Trial Lawyers Association, a by-invitation-only professional organization, lists him as one of the top 100 attorneys in Maryland. He also has a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a litigation attorney from AVVO and has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars.

Attorney Smith brings a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of criminal law and procedure to every case he takes. He will fully investigate your case, gathering and protecting all relevant evidence. He’ll also look at the actions of law enforcement officers, evaluating whether they violated your constitutional rights.

Proven Criminal Defense Attorney in the Baltimore Metro Area

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired in Maryland

Conviction for the Lesser Offense of DWI in Maryland

The Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired in MarylandIn Maryland, you can be convicted of driving while intoxicated/impaired if it can be shown in court that your ability to drive was affected to some extent by the consumption of alcohol or controlled substances. As a general rule, you may be charged with DWI if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is .07 or higher. (A DUI charge, which carries stiffer penalties, requires a BAC of .08 or higher.) You can be charged with a DWI even though your vehicle is not on the road or in motion, provided you are in the vehicle and the ignition is engaged.

Because DWI is considered a lesser offense than driving under the influence (DUI), the penalties are less harsh. For a first conviction, the maximum jail term is two months, and the maximum fine is $500. Prior convictions for DWI or DUI, however, can lead to stiffer sentences. A second conviction can bring a jail sentence of up to a year, and a third conviction can result in five years in prison. You also can face up to $5,000 in fines for a third conviction.

An Experienced Maryland DWI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully protected the constitutional rights of people across the Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for almost 40 years, including people charged with driving while intoxicated or impaired. He’s been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer Magazine, as well as a Maryland SuperLawyer. His fellow attorneys have consistently given him an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System). He has a 5-star average rating (the highest possible) for all client reviews with AVVO, earning him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award. He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) AVVO rating as a litigator.

Attorney Smith will work hard to gather and preserve evidence in your defense, so he can present the most persuasive arguments for your acquittal. He will be at your side throughout a criminal prosecution, from investigation and arraignment to trial, if necessary. He brings extensive trial experience to every case he handles and will make every effort to protect your rights before a judge and jury.

Experienced Carroll County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle DUI defense in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Maryland

Conviction for the More Serious Offense of DUI in Maryland

The Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in MarylandUnder Maryland law, you can be charged with and convicted of DUI (driving under the influence) if there’s evidence that your blood alcohol content exceeded .08%, or that you were substantially impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance. The car doesn’t need to be in motion for you to be charged with a DUI, but the car must be running.

If convicted of DUI in Maryland, you can face jail time and fines, even for a first offense. Penalties increase if you’ve had prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years. For a first-offense conviction of driving under the influence, you can serve up to a year in jail and pay a potential fine of up to $1,000. A second conviction carries the potential for double the jail time and fine. A third conviction may cost you up to five years and as much as $5,000.

Proven Maryland DUI Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully defended people in Baltimore and across Maryland on drunk driving charges for nearly 40 years. The American Lawyer Magazine named him a Top-Rated Lawyer and his colleagues in the legal profession have consistently given him an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he has a 5-star average rating (the highest possible) for client reviews with AVVO, earning him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award. He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) AVVO rating as a litigator.

Jonathan Scott Smith aggressively defends men and women charged with a wide range of criminal matters, including DUI. He provides thorough legal counsel throughout a criminal prosecution, from investigation to arraignment to trial. He’s a highly-respected trial attorney with extensive experience obtaining positive results in court. He’ll work hard to gather and preserve evidence in your defense and present the most persuasive arguments for your acquittal.

Experienced Carroll County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle DUI defense in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Implied Consent and Drunk Driving in Maryland

Compelling a Breath or Blood Test Without a Warrant

Implied Consent and Drunk Driving in MarylandAs a general rule, you cannot be subjected to a search or seizure without a warrant, as set forth in the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There are, however, certain situations where a police officer may do just that, provided there are reasonable grounds to believe that a law has been or is being violated. One such situation occurs when a police officer reasonably suspects a person of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Under the implied consent laws in force in Maryland, when you operate a motor vehicle on public roads or private property used by the public, you agree to submit to a drug or alcohol test in the event you’re stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There is no requirement that you agree, verbally or in writing, to take the test. The officer cannot compel you to take a blood or breath test, but if you do, your license can be suspended for up to 270 days, and you can face fines, as well as incarceration. Furthermore, unlike many other states, if you refuse to take the test, that refusal can be introduced as evidence at your criminal trial.

Experienced Baltimore County DUI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for criminal defendants in Baltimore and across Maryland for nearly four decades. The American Lawyer magazine has named him a Top-Rated Lawyer, and his peers in the legal profession consistently give him an AV rating, the highest possible. He has received AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with a 5-star average rating(the highest possible) for all client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, Smith has a perfect 10.0 (Superb)rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Jonathan Scott Smith takes an aggressive approach to the defense of drunk driving and other criminal matters, providing comprehensive legal counsel throughout the prosecution process, from investigation to arraignment to trial, if necessary. He’s a proven trial attorney with extensive experience obtaining positive results in court. He’ll work hard to gather and preserve evidence in your defense and present the most persuasive arguments for your acquittal.

Prince George’s County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle DUI/DWI prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Possession of Drugs in Maryland

What Constitutes Possession | The Treatment of Marijuana Under Maryland Law

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesThough Maryland has “decriminalized” the possession of marijuana, the state still takes a strong stance against the possession of so-called “hard drugs,” such as heroin and methamphetamines. Possession of small amounts of marijuana (less than 10 grams) is now a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense, and is treated much like a moving violation. The possession of other illegal drugs, however, can result in significant fines and incarceration.

The Definition of Possession

In Maryland, a person may not “possess or administer” a controlled dangerous substance unless it has been secured with a prescription or from an authorized provider. Maryland law also specifically criminalizes procuring drugs through fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. The possession of any controlled substances (other than marijuana) is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland, with a potential penalty of up to four years and fines up to $25,000. Possession of excessive amounts also can lead to a charge of possession with intent to distribute, which can carry significantly harsher penalties.

Experienced Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided aggressive advocacy to people in Baltimore County and across Maryland for nearly four decades, including individualsfacing prosecution for drug offenses. Named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine, he is also respected by his peers in the legal profession, who have consistently given him an AV-rating, the highest rating possible. He has been the recipient of AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with an average of 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in his client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith fights for men and women facing criminal prosecution, zealously representing clients throughout the legal process, from investigation, arrest, and arraignment to trial. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation of your case, ensuring that law enforcement officers legally obtained all evidence, and that you were madeaware of your constitutional rights. An effective trial attorney, he knows how to make compelling arguments in your defense before a judge and jury.

Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland

Driving on a Suspended License in Maryland

Grounds for license suspension and the penalties for driving on a suspended license

Driving on a Suspended License in MarylandThe Maryland Department of Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has the legal authority to temporarily suspend your driving privileges for a number of reasons:

  • Accumulation of 8 or more points on your driving record
  • Failure to pay a fine related to a traffic citation
  • Conviction for driving under the influence or while impaired

The penalties for operating a motor vehicle when your license has been suspended

Whether the suspension was appropriate or the result of a mistake, whether you intentionally drove with a suspended license or were unaware of the suspension, the state of Maryland can impose severe sanctions. You could face anywhere from two months to a year in jail, pay a $1,000 fine, or both. You also can expect points added to your driving record.

Experienced Baltimore County Traffic Court Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided sound counsel to people facing traffic court challenges in Baltimore and across Maryland for more than 35 years. He’s been listed as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and earned AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with an average of 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in all client reviews. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO. Long named a Maryland SuperLawyer, he’salso AV-rated by other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive approach to criminal defense, looking at the actions of law enforcement officers throughout the process. He’ll confirm whether there was probable cause to pull you over and whether you were properly notified of your constitutional rights. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation, talking to witnesses, reviewing police reports, and traveling to the scene of the traffic stop, if appropriate.

Proven Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Possession of Illegal Drugs in Maryland

How Does Maryland Define Possession?

Possession of Illegal DrugsIn Maryland, as in all states, the possession of certain controlled substances is a violation of the law. That includes not only “street drugs,” such as marijuana, meth, cocaine, and heroin, but also prescription medication. Maryland has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, treating the offense like a moving violation. Accordingly, marijuana is no longer classified as a controlled dangerous substance under Maryland law.

The Definition of “Possession” Under Maryland Law

The Maryland drug statute makes it illegal to:

  • Possess or administer to another person any controlled dangerous substance (CDS). It is permissible to possess or administer a CDS if you have a valid prescription for the drug.
  • Possess or try to possess a CDS through any of the following means:
    • A false or counterfeit prescription
    • The use of false information, such as name or address
    • Any type of fraud, deceit, or act of misrepresentation

Experienced Maryland Drug Possession Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout the metropolitan Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than 35 years. A recipient of AVVO’s coveted Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator. He’s been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and is a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer. Smith is highly respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, with an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive approach to the defense of any criminal charge and will be at your side throughout the legal process, whether you are merely under investigation or actually arrested and charged. He’ll investigate whether law enforcement officers had probable cause and confirm that your constitutional rights were protected. A proven trial attorney, he’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case, so he can make the most persuasive arguments before a judge and jury.

Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment.We handle drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101