Washington, D.C. and Maryland Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys
Our experienced drug crime attorneys at Lotze Mosley LLP in Washington D.C. and in the State of Maryland have tried over one hundred criminal cases that required special legal attention because of their jurisdiction and circumstances.
Drug crimes that occur in Washington D.C. are handled differently than other criminal court activity in the United States, as they can be prosecuted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or in D.C. Superior Court. Each legal venue requires an experienced defense attorney who knows the techniques of the prosecutors and the temperament of the court officials, and the experienced attorneys at Lotze Mosley LLP are able to provide solutions for our clients that fit not only their unique needs but those of the government.
Our Washington, D.C. drug crimes 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 our Washington DC drug crimes lawyers 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.
Drug Crime Penalties in Washington D.C.
When someone is charged with a drug crime in Washington D.C. or Maryland, the penalties will be dictated by the circumstances of the individual’s arrest and how the prosecutor forms their case.
Those variables can include the:
- Type of drug, including:
- MDMA, also known as Ecstasy
- Actual crime, and whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, including:
- Drug possession
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Distribution of drugs
- Conspiracy to distribute
- Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Criminal history of the defendant
- Location of the crime
- Prosecutor’s jurisdiction
The Washington D.C. Superior Court maintains harsh drug crime penalties, even for first offenders, which is why it is important to retain an accomplished criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights and your best interests are protected before appearing in court.
Understanding Drug-Free Zones And Their Harsher Penalties In Washington D.C.
While most cities impose harsher penalties for drug crimes that occur in a “drug-free zone”, the Washington D.C. court system is unforgiving when individuals commit these crimes in areas that are designated as drug-free.
The penalties for committing a drug-related offense in a drug-free zone are literally twice as harsh as they are outside of these areas.
If convicted, the defendant will face:
- Twice the maximum prison sentence as the charge would usually solicit
- Twice the maximum fine
As government officials in the Nation’s Capital focus on making an example of drug crime defendants in our courtrooms, it is imperative that anyone charged with these crimes understands their rights and the laws that affect their prosecution.
At Lotze Mosley LLP, our criminal defense attorneys will provide the resources each of our clients need to make informed decisions regarding their case’s charges.
Drug-free zones in Washington D.C. include all areas within 1,000 feet of the following:
- Events sponsored by certain federal and Washington D.C. government institutions
- Schools, including:
- Grade schools
- Secondary schools
- High schools
- Daycare centers
- Public swimming pools
- Youth centers
- Public libraries
- Public housing
The prosecutor’s office will seek the maximum penalty for any drug crimes that are committed in drug-free zones. It is important that your case is handled professionally by an experienced attorney to produce the best results available.
Is Possession Of Marijuana A Drug Crime In Washington D.C.?
Marijuana use, possession, and distribution are common charges in Washington D.C., and as the laws change, so does the confusion regarding its legality.
Possession of marijuana, in some cases, is penalized with fines instead of criminal charges. However, that only applies to possession that occurs within the home, and only covers up to one ounce of marijuana.
Smoking marijuana in public is illegal and can lead to criminal charges. And while simple possession charges are considered a misdemeanor, any method of possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy to distribute, or the actual act of distribution will lead to an arrest and tough charges by the prosecutor’s office.
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 Should I Do if I Am Guilty of Drug Crimes?
Consulting with a Washington DC drug crimes 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 Washington DC drug crimes 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 a Washington DC drug crimes lawyer or without an attorney present.
A Washington, D.C. drug crime defense lawyer 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, a Washington, D.C. drug crimes 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 Washington, D.C. Drug Crime Defense Attorney
You do not need to bring anything to the first consultation with a Washington, D.C. drug crimes 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 Washington, D.C. drug crime lawyer and to your case. You should give this information to your Washington, D.C. drug crimes 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 Washington, D.C., they are eventually brought down to the central cell block. If Lotze Mosley is contacted, our Washington, D.C. drug crimes lawyer can meet with the defendant prior to their initial arraignment in court before a magistrate judge.
Our Washington, D.C. criminal lawyers have helped people who were suspected or accused of committing:
- Gun Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Traffic Offenses, such as driving under the influence
The benefit of Using Washington, D.C. Drug Crime Attorneys at Lotze Mosley, LLP
The Washington, D.C. criminal defense attorneys at our law 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. Our Washington DC drug crimes lawyers 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) 759-7497.
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