Cocaine laws in Maryland

On behalf of Jack B. Rubin, PA posted in Drug Charges on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

Cocaine trafficking and the violence surrounding it have been recognized as significant problems in states around the country for some time. As a result, law enforcement officials in Maryland work hard to enforce the cocaine laws that are on the books, and the penalties for cocaine charges can be severe. However, courts also recognize that drug addiction plays a role in many people’s offenses, so some drug defendants are allowed to avoid prison time by going through drug treatment programs instead.

The severity of penalties for a cocaine charge depends greatly on the quantity of cocaine involved and whether or not the accused person has been convicted of drug crimes before. A person accused of cocaine possession may be charged for a misdemeanor and face up to four years behind bars. A subsequent offense could result in double penalties.

Selling cocaine is always a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. An individual who is convicted of selling at least 448 grams of cocaine or at least 50 grams of crack could face a minimum sentence of 40 years in prison. Selling cocaine to people under the age or 18 or in a school zone has stricter penalties. People convicted for trafficking cocaine may be handed a prison sentence of between 20 and 40 years with a $1 million fine.

People accused of possession or sale of cocaine are sometimes able to have their drug charges reduced by negotiating plea bargains with the prosecution. One who wishes to negotiate such an arrangement may find it advisable to obtain the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.

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