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What are drug possession charges in Maryland?

By now, readers of our blog know that we often cover cases in which people are charged with drug crimes. All of the terms used for these drug crimes might seem confusing to some people. One of those terms is drug possession. For our Maryland readers, knowing the specifics of drug possession charges might help them to better understand what it means when someone is charged with drug possession.

What does drug possession mean?

In the simplest of terms, it means possessing a controlled substance. That possession can be actual or constructive. Constructive possession means that a person simply has reasonable access to a drug near them. The controlled substance can include a host of drugs. Some examples include LSD, marijuana, narcotics, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and club drugs. It can also include items used to make drugs, such as precursor chemicals.

Are there different types of possession charges?

When a small amount of a drug is found on or near a person, that person might face basic, or simple, possession charges. When a larger amount is found, the person might face charges that include "with intent to distribute." Generally, simple possession charges are less serious than possession with intent to distribute charges.

Do possession laws cover drug paraphernalia?

People can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia if they have certain items in their possession. Items like bongs, crack pipes, syringes and certain other items can all be considered drug paraphernalia.

Being charged with drug possession can have serious life consequences. Knowing your rights to defend yourself from the charges and understanding how to present a defense are vital to fight the effects of these serious charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Overview" Oct. 29, 2014

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