As we mentioned in a previous post, jurisdictions across America will no longer be seeking mandatory minimum sentences from drug offenses. While this will likely result in shorter sentences for many people convicted of petty drug crimes, it’s important to remember that such crimes can still carry stiff fines and penalties. In fact, a single offense often carries multiple charges, multiplying the accusations that must be faced in court.
Two 18-year-old men found themselves in this situation recently, after a traffic stop led to their drug-related arrest. Police officers spotted the men traveling 69 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. Officers performed a traffic stop. While speaking with the driver, the arresting officer allegedly smelled marijuana in the vehicle.
The officer then performed a search of the vehicle. He found approximately 100 grams of marijuana. He also uncovered an undisclosed amount of money. Both men were arrested and taken to Kent County Detention Center. Bail was set at $10,000.
Each man is now facing three charges for his involvement in the situation: possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. The police report does not clarify what sort of drug paraphernalia was found at the scene.
The laws governing drug offenses often overlap, meaning it is very common for a single action to lead to multiple charges. In some cases, people can suddenly find themselves accused of committing a large and intimidating array of crimes. In such situations, judges and attorneys involved in the case should look closely at each charge to determine whether it has merit. Failure to do so could cause to a defendant to be found guilty of a crime he or she never committed.
Middletown Transcript, “Middletown-area teens facing drug charges in Maryland” Scott Goss, Sep. 08, 2013