Possession of Marijuana

Marijuana PossessionDespite the recent passage of marijuana decriminalization,  police officers still make thousands of arrests for the illegal drug each year. In 2007 alone, Maryland police arrested 25,000 for marijuana related offenses. Most of these arrests were for simple possession. Our state might not have the strictest marijuana laws in the country, and as of October 2014 small amounts were decriminalized, but it still sends a large number of defendants to jail for possessing pot. Punishments for person convicted of possession will vary in different jurisdictions throughout the state. The current maximum penalty for simple possession of is one year in jail for over 10 grams, and while it is uncommon for a defendant to be sentenced to significant jail time for possession, jail sentences are still handed out daily. Keep in mind that there is still no minimum amount requirement for police to make an arrest. Police in can arrest a person for a residue amount of the drug, the burnt end of a joint, or flakes in a small baggie.  Do not fall victim to Maryland's unfair and outdated marijuana laws!  Decriminalization is not yet the law of the state, and you can bet cops will be eager to write as many criminal pot citations as they can before October.

If you have been arrested or cited contact Benjamin Herbst anytime for a free consultation.  Benjamin has successfully handled hundreds of marijuana cases, and more than prepared to fight for you or a loved one. 

Despite the best efforts of numerous people in favor of legalization it still looks like we will have to wait years before pot is legal.  The legal jurisdictions in around the state, and their respective judges each treat possession of marijuana differently. In Baltimore City, a defendant may find his or her case ending in dismissal while the same case in Baltimore, Montgomery, Worcester, or Anne Arundel Counties could be treated much differently. An experienced lawyer knows the how the different jurisdictions in the state treat this charge, and will diligently prepare the best possible defense.

A large percentage of marijuana possession arrests occur as a result of traffic stops. Many of these traffic stops and the subsequent car searches are in fact illegal, and there are ways that a skilled lawyer can file motions to have the traffic stop thrown out. Police officers are trained in drug detection, but they may also be schooled in knowing the right things to say to validate a traffic stop. Police officers have been known to justify a search and seizure of a car based on smelling the odor of marijuana, regardless of whether the odor of marijuana existed. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can vigorously question the arresting police officer on this issue and seek to have your case dismissed. There are also ways that a lawyer can mitigate your charge such as using the medical necessity law.  The maximum penalty under the medical necessity law that is a fine of $100.

There are so many ways that a drug charge can affect a defendant other than serving actual jail time. A judge or state’s attorney may offer to resolve your marijuana case the first time you are actually in court or even at your bond hearing. Do not plead guilty or agree to any sort of plea negotiation without contacting a lawyer!  Collateral consequences of accepting a plea deal to a criminal charge could include loss of driving privileges, loss of student loan privileges, immigration consequences, and having a permanent criminal record.  A marijuana lawyer with experience defending hundreds of these cases can prevent this from happening.  There is simply no need to gamble with your future and go at it alone.

The judge will allow you time to hire a lawyer to defend your case, so there is no need to rush into a plea agreement. If you or someone you know has been charged with possession drugs contact a marijuana possession lawyer at 410-207-2598 at any time for a free consultation.  The Herbst Firm will also be able to explain the modifications of the marijuana laws that are happening just about every year.  These new laws may affect the way your case is handled by the State's Attorney and it is important to become familiar with the new laws for future reference.

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