For some people, cocaine addiction impacts every aspect of their life. This drug can lead to violent behavior, rapid heartbeat, muscle spasms, chest pains, heart failure, seizures, brain failure, nausea and other symptoms. In some cases, cocaine use can lead to death.
The severity of the symptoms of cocaine, especially the increase in violence, has led Maryland to institute harsh penalties for convictions on cocaine-related charges.
The most serious charges related to cocaine are trafficking and selling cocaine. The penalties for possession of cocaine are serious, but not as serious as penalties for trafficking and selling in most cases.
If a person is classified as a drug kingpin and is convicted of trafficking cocaine, the possible penalty is 20 to 40 years in prison. The fine this carries is $1,000,000.
A person who is charged with selling cocaine faces a felony charge. The penalties depend on the amount of cocaine they are accused of selling, as well as any prior cocaine convictions. A sentence of up to 20 years in prison is the lowest possible penalty for selling cocaine. A person who is convicted of selling over 50 grams of crack or 448 grams of cocaine faces a minimum of 40 years in prison. The same 40-year minimum also applies to a person who is convicted of a third offense.
Most possession of cocaine charges are misdemeanor charges that can lead to four years in prison. Some charges, such as bringing more than 28 grams into Maryland, which is a felony, and subsequent offenses have harsher penalties.
The penalties of a cocaine-related conviction should spur people facing these charges to take action right away to build a defense. When doing this, you must explore all your options for the defense strategies available.
Source: FindLaw, "Maryland Cocaine Laws," accessed Oct. 15, 2015