Although some people assume that only use or possession of a controlled substance leads to criminal drug charges, that’s incorrect. Possession of drug paraphernalia could get someone into significant legal woes in Maryland.
Possession of drug paraphernalia in Maryland
Drug paraphernalia is an umbrella term covering items including water bongs, syringes, meth pipes and other implements for using drugs. Often, drug paraphernalia charges are bundled with other offenses such as possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence, burglary and more.
Anyone who possesses anything that falls under the category of drug paraphernalia could face misdemeanor charges. A first offense may result in a maximum fine of $500. Subsequent offenses might end with a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to two years in jail. If a person is convicted, they may receive probation for the offense since it is non-violent.
Defenses to drug paraphernalia charges
Believing that the charges are only misdemeanors and the fines are low should not lull a defendant into thinking the situation isn’t serious. Anyone charged with this type of possession should realize that a criminal record may follow them forever.
A criminal defense strategy may challenge the actual claim of possession. If someone did not have control of the paraphernalia or did not realize the paraphernalia was present, possession charges could be difficult to prove, and the charges might be dropped.
Individuals facing several charges may want to explore a plea bargain arrangement. This criminal defense strategy may reduce the chances of higher fines and longer jail terms by having the defendant plead guilty to some charges while others are dropped or reduced.