Washington, D.C. and Maryland Drug Crime Defense Attorneys
Our attorneys know the law and the courts. We can sort out the different types of drugs and drug-related offenses in order to resolve your drug-related legal problem in the most appropriate manner. We get to know our clients so that we can help them to determine who needs to be vindicated, who needs addiction therapy and rehabilitation, and who needs to put illegal drug charges behind them so that they can get on with the rest of their lives.
The most common crimes involving drugs in the D.C. and Maryland area are:
- Drug possession
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Distribution of drugs
- Conspiracy to distribute
- Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
The types of drugs most commonly involved in D.C. and Maryland area drug crimes are Cocaine, PCP, Heroin, and MDMA (ecstasy).
Marijuana is also a common drug, however, with the recent changes in marijuana laws, possession of marijuana is, to a certain extent, a civil citation now. This means that one will typically have to pay a fine and not face criminal charges. It is important to note that this applies only to possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and it applies only to certain situations, like in one’s home.
If one is caught smoking weed in public, this would be considered criminal, and charges could be brought against that individual.
Furthermore, drug crimes in DC can be prosecuted either in D.C. Superior Court or in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. This is different from other jurisdictions in the United States.
What Are Drug Crime Penalties in D.C. and Maryland?
In D.C. Superior Court, a first offender charged with felony possession with intent to distribute, or charged with distribution, can be given a maximum prison sentence of 30 years. In U.S. District Court, penalties are determined by the U.S. sentencing guidelines and controlling statutes. These will vary depending on the amount of drug involved along with other factors.
Simple possession of marijuana, cocaine, and/or heroin is considered a misdemeanor offense. It carries a maximum penalty of 180 days and/or a $1,000 fine.
In Maryland, both the offenses of possession with intent to distribution and actual distribution carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison. This applies to most narcotics.
Can you be Charged with Possession of Drugs When They Were Not Yours?
Unfortunately, a person can be convicted even if they were found with drugs that did not belong to them. This is a possessory theory of prosecution. There are two types of possession for unlawful substances: actual possession and constructive possession.
Actual, physical possession occurs when a person has the drugs on them. Constructive possession occurs when a person is deemed to be in dominion and control of the unlawful substance – even if the unlawful substances does not belong to them.
Joint possession is one other theory under which a person can be found criminally liable. This occurs when the government charges two or more persons with possession of the same substance.
An example of joint possession is when two or more people are in a car and drugs are found in the center console of the vehicle. Oftentimes, no one in the car will take ownership of the drugs. When this happens, everyone in the car can be charged with possession of the drugs.
What Do I Do if I Am Guilty?
Consulting with an attorney is the first and most important step if you are guilty of a drug crime. There may be a defense available, even if you are admitting – not to the police, but to the attorney – that you are responsible for possessing the unlawful substance. It is important to note that you should never talk to the police without consulting an attorney or without an attorney present.
An drug crime defense attorney will make sure that all of your rights are protected and upheld through each stage of the criminal process. Even if you are guilty, do not admit that to the police. This can severely hinder your rights.
Furthermore, an attorney can help determine whether you would be eligible for a diversionary program, even if you are guilty. There are programs available for those guilty of drug crimes if certain criteria are met.
What to Bring to a First Consultation with a Defense Attorney
You do not need to bring anything to the first consultation with an attorney. However, if you have a police report, case number, or citation, providing that information will be extremely helpful.
Additionally, if you have the contact information for any potential witnesses that may have been present during your interaction with the police that too will be helpful to your attorney and to your case. You should give this information to your attorney as soon as possible. The more time that has passed, the more likely any potential witnesses will forget important details.
What If you are Already in Jail?
Unfortunately, we cannot consult with you when you have been arrested and are at the police station. When an individual is arrested in D.C., they are eventually brought down to the central cell block. If Lotze Mosley is contacted, we can meet with the defendant prior to their initial arraignment in court before a magistrate judge.
Benefit of Using Lotze Mosley, LLP in Washington DC
The Criminal defense attorneys at our firm have years of experience handling drug crimes, and we aggressively advocate for all of our clients. We have tried, together, well over a hundred drug crimes, and the number of cases we have successfully disposed of is greater than that. We have obtained positive results for a number of our clients charged with drug crimes, and we will do everything in our power to do the same for you. Call us at (202) 393-0535.