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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

Bel Air Drug Crime Lawyer

As a consequence of the War on Drugs and the recent opioid epidemic, people convicted of drug charges are facing harsh sentences that don’t necessarily reflect their crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with drug crimes in Maryland, you will want a strong defense team working on your behalf. At Schlaich & Thompson Chartered, our Bel Air drug crime lawyers take the time to ensure our clients understand their charges, how the legal process works, and how we can help them get the best possible outcome.

Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are drugs that the United States has determined to be illegal for use, distribution, or manufacturing. According to the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, the reasons a drug will be declared a controlled substance include:

  • Its potential for abuse;
  • The history of people abusing the drug;
  • Scientific evidence that the drug is addictive;
  • Evidence that the drug poses a risk to the public health; and
  • Evidence that the drug is a precursor to an already controlled substance.

Drug Schedules

Controlled substances are classified into Schedule I – Schedule V drugs. Schedule I drugs are not considered acceptable for medical treatment and have a high rate of dependence. Examples of schedule I drugs include heroin and ecstasy. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were 5,152 fentanyl overdoses in 2016, it is still considered a schedule II drug because it has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for pain relief. Schedule III, IV, and V drugs have lower potential for abuse. For example, schedule V drugs, such as cough syrup with codeine sold behind the pharmacy are the least likely to result in a drug charge. Regardless of what controlled substance you have been charged with possessing, manufacturing, or distributing, it is important to seek legal counsel. Each case is unique and any previous record you may have will be considered during a sentencing.

The Three Categories of Drug Charges

Possession – A person can be charged with possession if they have the drug on them and do not have a valid prescription for it. Even if the person does not physically have the drugs, they can still face a possession charge if they have drug paraphernalia such as syringes or they are in the same location as the drugs were stored and there is proof that they were aware of the drug’s presence. The latter scenario is known as constructive possession.

Manufacturing – If there is evidence a person has the equipment required to make the drug, they could be charged with manufacturing the drug. With the internet it has become easier for people to learn the manufacturing steps and purchase the necessary ingredients, so manufacturing drug charges have become more common.

Distribution – Selling or intending to sell illegal drugs will lead to distribution charges. Just having a large quantity of a drug in your possession could serve as evidence that you were attempting to sell the substance. If the drug quantities are large enough, it could be considered drug-trafficking, which is a federal crime.

Schlaich & Thompson Chartered can Help

At Schlaich & Thompson Chartered, we understand that being convicted of a drug crime in Maryland can have a huge impact on your future. We have the experience and the work ethic required to give you the representation you deserve. Contact us today for a free initial consultation at 410-838-0004.

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