Being familiar with the state of Maryland’s cocaine laws can help individuals stay out of trouble. It can also help those accused of cocaine-related drug offenses navigate the complexities of their criminal cases. Indeed, drug laws are tricky and the more we know about them, the better off we are.
Cocaine possession — even the possession of minute amounts of the drug — can result in individuals suffering serious penalties if they are convicted of the offenses. For example, possessing a small amount of cocaine is considered a misdemeanor with punishments of as much as 4 years in jail and/or $25,000 in fines. Meanwhile, if one is found guilty of smuggling 28 grams of cocaine into Maryland, it is considered a felony with punishments of 25 years in jail and fines of as much as $50,000. If it is a subsequent offense, then the associated penalties are doubled.
A cocaine sales conviction is even worse. That kind of charge could put someone in jail for 20 years and result in $25,000 in fines. Selling over 448 grams of cocaine or over 50 grams of crack will put someone in jail for at least 40 years. Meanwhile, individuals who are convicted of cocaine trafficking face the worst punishments: up to $1 million in fines and 20 to 40 years in jail.
Cocaine is currently one of the most heavily traded drugs in Maryland, but it is also highly illegal and those convicted of cocaine-related drug offenses face some of the worst punishments on the books. That said, if it appears that a conviction is likely, prosecutors may be willing to negotiate a plea bargain deal, especially if an individual is willing to help them create a case against higher level drug traffickers. In other situations, first-time drug offenders may be able to bypass prison time in exchange for treatment at a drug rehabilitation facility.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Maryland Cocaine Laws,” accessed April. 03, 2015