Drug charges are taken very seriously in state and federal courts. Illegal drug manufacturing in particular can lead to a lengthy term behind bars compared to simple possession charges. If you’ve been arrested on drug charges near Annapolis, it’s in your best interests to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will explain how the law applies to your case and what the potential legal penalties are if you’re convicted.
Drug manufacturing charges are covered under Maryland criminal code section 5-603 . This statute explains that in the state, it is illegal for a person to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance. It is also illegal for a person to possess, manufacture, or distribute any piece of equipment, machinery, or instrumentation that can be used or adapted to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance. A person can be convicted if he or she is determined to have dealt with this sort of equipment in circumstances that would cause someone to reasonably believe that the defendant had the intent to use the equipment to produce, sell, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance.
Drug manufacturing charges are typically prosecuted as felonies, compared to the misdemeanor charges that are typical of simple possession cases. Your criminal lawyer will let you know what the specific penalties are for your case. Depending on the exact charges, you could be facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. For a second offense, you could face a mandatory minimum of two years behind bars without the possibility of parole. Other related felony charges could result in up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Repeat offenders can be sentenced to no fewer than 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Defending from a charge of drug manufacturing is often more complicated than developing defense strategies for a possession charge. However, there may be ways of mitigating the circumstances. It might be possible to argue that the manufacture of the drugs was for personal use only, rather than for sale or distribution. If the defendant was found with the ingredients for drug manufacturing, but no finished product, then it may be possible to argue that the ingredients were intended for legitimate purposes.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information about the topics discussed and does not qualify as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws applicable to each case may differ. If you have a legal matter, you should speak to an attorney to get advice on your particular situation.