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CDS - Possession of Marihuana (Marijuana)

So regarding possession of marihuana, here is what you need to know
The criminal charge of Possession of Marihuana is governed by section 5-601((a)(1)) of the Criminal Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and it carries possible incarceration of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1000 dollars or both. However, with regard to marijuana this has now been changed so that if you are in possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less, the arresting officer has the option of issuing you a criminal citation. The punishment under this new faction is now a possible incarceration of up to 90 days and a $500 fine or both.
The criminal charge of Possession of Paraphernalia is governed by section 5-619((c)(1)) of the Criminal Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and carries a fine of up to $500 dollars for the first violation.

Especially for a young person, a conviction for possession of marihuana (or harder drugs) can have long lasting and dire consequence. I liken it to a pebble being thrown into a pond and its ripple effect continuing outward. A conviction is an impediment to employment, (especially with security clearance, licensing or bonding), admission into schools, student loans and any occupation (or even volunteering) dealing with children.

Possession means having control over a CDS (controlled dangerous substance) marihuana Possession is actual or indirect and you do not have to be the only person in possession of the controlled substance.
Additionally in Maryland, more than one person may have possession of the drug at the same time. In determining whether a person is in indirect possession of marihuana, the court will look at the surrounding circumstances such as distance between you and the substance, whether you had some possessor interest in the place (for instance own the automobile) where the substance was found and whether you were participating with others in the mutual use and enjoyment of the substance.

REMEMBER in Maryland there is no minimum quantity of marihuana that must be possessed. Caine versus State, 34 Md App.466, 367 A.2d47 Cert. denies, 280 Md 728(1977).

Thus even a quantity too small to be used by the possessor (you), for the purpose for which possession is prohibited, constitutes possession. Even a microscopic amount of CDS marihuana will be sufficient for the charge of possession.
Furthermore, in Maryland, there is no minimum length of time for a person to be in possession of the CDS. Cook versus State, 3rd Md App: 122, 134,578A.2d 283, 289(1990), cert. denies, 321 Md 502, 583 A.2d 276(1991).
In Maryland, constructive possession may be inferred from the surrounding circumstances, provided the evidence demonstrates that you exercised some restraining on direction influence over the CDS-marihuana possessed. Taylor versus State, 346 Md 452, 697A.2d 462 (1997).

I have personally handled 100’s of drug possession case in 18yrs. You should go to trial with a local, experienced and proven criminal drug defense lawyer. As a local criminal drug defense attorney, I know my way around the law and the court system in Ocean City, Maryland and the surrounding Worcester County. I have worked with (and against) the various Distict Attorneys' offices and know the characteristics of the local courts and judges. It's this kind of experience that may help get the charges reduced, plead down, or thrown out completely.

To be clear, a possession of marijuana charge in this county may be treated as a serious offense. Even if you eventually decide on another attorney, PLEASE do not try to represent yourself. Make sure you hire a qualified, competent attorney with criminal trial experience.

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Frank Benvenuto, P.A. Attorney at Law
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