As heroin use continues to rise in Maryland, the number of heroin arrests has risen as well. Maryland law enforcement officers in urban areas such as Baltimore and Washington D.C. have been making a large amount of heroin arrests for years, but the recent introduction of heroin into Maryland suburbs has forced county police officers, prosecutors, and heroin lawyers in jurisdictions such as Baltimore County and Harford County to become more familiar with the drug. Heroin is classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance in Maryland, and possession of heroin is a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 1 year. Although a first time offender in a possession of heroin case will rarely face significant jail time, possession of heroin does carry an unavoidable stigma that the defendant is a dangerous drug addict. That is just the reality of a possession of heroin cases that simply does not exist with other drugs such as marijuana or cocaine. For this reason, possession of heroin cases can be more complex, and require a criminal lawyer with actual experience defending heroin crimes in Maryland.
Distribution of any controlled substance in Maryland is a serious felony criminal charge, but distribution of heroin cases are often met with even tougher resistance from judges and prosecutors. Again the stigma of heroin comes into play, and even a first time offender may be facing significant jail time for distribution or sale of heroin. The maximum penalty in Maryland for distribution, manufacture, or sale of heroin is 20 years in prison and $25,000 fine for a first time offender, and these maximum penalties rise with each subsequent offense. The Maryland heroin lawyers at The Herbst Firm have represented actual heroin cases and understand the challenges that these types of criminal charges present. If you or someone you know has been arrested or is being investigated for possession of heroin in Maryland or heroin distribution in Maryland, contact The Herbst Firm for a free consultation.