Drug Lawyer Rockville MD
If you are looking for a drug lawyer Rockville MD trusts, look no further than the law firm of Daniel J. Wright. Wright has been ranked in the top 100 trial lawyers for his indisputable excellence on getting the job done. Wright knows the inner workings of the court system and is armed with years of experience that he can use to help you accomplish your goals. As a drug lawyer Rockville MD community members rely on, he is unmatched.
People convicted of drug crimes make up almost 20 percent of Maryland state prisons. Drug crimes include possession of illegal substances, distribution of illegal substances, and manufacturing of illegal substances. If you have been charged with one of these crimes, immediately contact a drug lawyer Rockville MD relies on to seek council.
Possession or Intent to Sell
There are two categories of drug possession law in the state of Maryland, possession for personal use, and possession with the attempt to distribute. Drug laws are constantly changing and evolving which is why seeking council from a drug lawyer Rockville MD trusts is of the highest importance. Possession for personal use is categorized as a far less serious crime than that of intent to distribute, however it is nothing to take lightly. The nature of the crime can be escalated to a more severe charge if any new evidence is uncovered. If you are charged with possession you should immediately seek council from a drug lawyer Rockville MD prosecutors respect such as Daniel J. Wright. He can formulate a defense strategy that offers you the best possible outcome.
Factors Taken into Account in a Drug Charge
When you are charged with a drug crime, a number of factors may come into play. A drug lawyer Rockville MD relies on can be able to explain to you in detail how prosecutors often escalate the charges as they find more evidence. Possession factors include:
- Quantity and location of drugs found
- Items that may indicate intent to sell such as a scale or baggies
- A law enforcement witness of a transfer of possession of the drugs
- A large amount of cash found in the vehicle or home, or on the accused’s person
Understanding Search and Seizure Laws
Search and seizure laws are very important when it comes to protecting the rights of American citizens. The Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution states that all citizens are protected against unlawful searches, but when applied in the modern world, this amendment can become very complicated. This is why it’s important to rely on the guidance of a drug lawyer Rockville MD locals recommend from our firm. Because unlawful police searches could potentially affect nearly any kind of criminal case, we think this is a valuable topic to discuss with our clients. No matter the nature of your legal issue, it’s important to understand your rights as an American citizen. As a drug lawyer Rockville MD residents choose due to his wealth of knowledge, Daniel J. Wright can address your questions and concerns.
Protection Against Unlawful Search and Seizure
Drug possession is not a minor crime, and those convicted may face paying expensive fines, serving jail time, a mark on record, and more. When a person is arrested, they may not know that the drug evidence found could have been obtained unlawfully.
By law, people are protected from unreasonable seizures and searches of themselves, home environment, and other property by law enforcement. As a Rockville, MD drug lawyer, Daniel J. Wright understands that not every officer performs a search for drug possession while abiding by the law.
The Fourth Amendment defines an unlawful search or seizure of property as that which is “unreasonable.” It states that “reasonable” searches by law enforcement agents are lawful even when they do not have a warrant. Determining what is “reasonable” is at the crux of whether a search is legal without a warrant. In most cases, the law enforcement agents will have to prove that they had probable cause to believe that they would find evidence of a crime in a specific place, and that the circumstances justified conducting the search without obtaining a warrant first. A drug lawyer Rockville MD individuals hire who are accused of a crime may be able to prove that the search was illegal. That can result in the prosecutor dropping all charges.
This protection applies to all of your property — your home, your car, your bank documents, and even your phone. Without a warrant and without probable cause, law enforcement agents are not legally allowed to search these items. There are, however, specific exceptions to this rule. For example, when high school students store items in their lockers, the school typically argues that the lockers do not belong to the students and therefore a locker may be searched without probable cause.
One major exception to search and seizure protection is often called the “plain view” exception. This states that if police officers see evidence or contraband items in plain view, and if those officers have the legal right to be in that location, they may also have the right to seize the items or conduct a search of that area. For example, if a police officer pulls over a driver and sees drug paraphernalia on the passenger’s seat, the police officer may have the legal right to search the vehicle for drugs. If found, the drugs could be confiscated and could be evidence toward a criminal charge.
If you believe there was something not quite right about how your drug possession arrest occurred, we highly recommend you talk with a drug lawyer Rockville, MD trusts. Call Daniel J. Wright now.
Search Warrants and Probable Cause
An officer is only permitted to search your property if there is probable cause. It is important that those accused of drug possession understand what probable cause means in relation to their arrest. If an officer has sufficient evidence to reasonably believe the accused has broken a law, a search can be initiated and any found drugs are confiscated.
Search warrants are documents signed by judges or police officers that authorize law enforcement agents to conduct a search. The warrant must specify the place where the search will take place, and it must also list the materials that they are searching for. Although the location of the search is typically very specific (such as an address or a room within a building), the materials listed tend to be more vague (such as “anything with a possible connection to the aforementioned crime”). Individuals are required to allow searches when law enforcement agents present a warrant for a search. However, an experienced Rockville MD drug lawyer might argue later that the officers did not have probable cause and therefore the search was unreasonable and unlawful.
Search and seizure laws are intended to protect American citizens, but it’s clear that these laws are very complex and can have many loopholes. It’s imperative that you choose a drug lawyer in Rockville MD who has a thorough understanding of these laws. With help from Daniel J. Wright, our team can help you figure out whether the officer had a legitimate reason to perform a search.
Drugs Found in Plain View
Illegal drugs that are in obvious sight either on the person or within a vehicle or home, may be seized and used as proof against the accused. Drugs that were found not in plain view (such as the trunk or glove compartment) and the person didn’t give consent, may result in the drugs being thrown out as evidence. If the accused’s rights were violated at anytime during the search or arrest, the drugs may not be used in the court trial and the charges are often dismissed. In extreme cases, sometimes an officer damages property of the accused in such a haste to find hidden drugs. Let your drug lawyer Rockville, MD know if you felt coerced by the officer or had any property ruined in the process.
There are very specific and intricate laws surrounding protocol to surveillance. A drug lawyer Rockville MD relies on to know the ins and outs of the court system may be able to help you discern whether or not your rights were violated in the surveillance or search of your home or person. In the case of a wrongful search or surveillance attempt, charges may be dropped.
If you are facing drug charges of any kind it is in your best interests to call a drug lawyer Rockville MD relies on right away. Drug laws are detailed and intricate and a misstep on the side of law enforcement could possibly get your charges dropped. Finding a Rockville drug lawyer you can trusts to fight for your best interests is the important first step once charges are filled so that you can be prepared before you face the threat of escalating charges. Call Daniel J. Wright at 301-655-8130 for a free consultation if you need a drug lawyer Rockville MD offers.
3 Drugs Commonly Abused in Maryland
To abuse a drug is to use it for something other than its intended purpose or out of compliance with your doctor’s instructions. Some controlled substances have no accepted medical uses, so possessing, making, or using them is always against the law. Some have medical uses that are so limited that they are only rarely prescribed. However, others are medications that are commonly prescribed. It may be possible to commit an offense involving prescription medications without realizing it, in which case, a drug lawyer in Rockville, MD, at the firm of Daniel J. Wright may be able to help you present your case to the court. Here are some substances most commonly abused in Maryland.
Methamphetamine is a very potent and addictive drug in its own right. It is a stimulant drug that works on the pleasure centers of the brain, causing euphoria, aggression, and sometimes psychosis. Eventually, the neural overstimulation that results from meth use can damage the pleasure centers of the brain, leaving you unable to feel anything positive.
Another risk of using methamphetamine is that it is sometimes laced with opioids. These are more likely to cause overdose deaths than the meth itself. Meth is technically a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that it could be prescribed by a physician. Nevertheless, as a drug lawyer in Rockville, MD, could tell you, it very rarely is.
Benzodiazepines help promote relaxation and are commonly prescribed by mental health providers to help patients with anxiety. Brand-name benzodiazepines include Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax. The potential for addiction to benzodiazepines is relatively low, but it is more likely to occur if you do not follow the directions of the prescribing physician. Because it is common to prescribe benzos for anxiety, it is relatively easy for them to be diverted for recreational use. This can happen without your knowledge, e.g., if someone in your family or a visitor to your home steals them from your medicine cabinet. However, you could face penalties if you knowingly share your prescription medications with other people. Even if you have the best of intentions, you could still end up needing the services of a drug lawyer in Rockville, MD.
Opioids can be dangerous if they are mixed with other drugs, such as methamphetamine. Most of the overdose deaths related to the use of other drugs are actually due to opioids with which the drugs were laced. You may think you’re buying and using one drug not realizing that it has been laced with an opioid and overdose as a result.
Nevertheless, opioids can do harm on their own as well. Heroin is an example of an opioid with no accepted medical uses, meaning it is not legal to use under any circumstances. However, most opioids are prescription pain medications. As a drug lawyer in Rockville, MD, knows all too well, most opioid addicts first become hooked from a prescription and then have to turn to the black market to feed the habit when the prescription runs out.
Daniel J. Wright is a drug lawyer in Rockville, MD who can represent your interests in court. The hope is that you can seek help for your addiction instead of serving an unproductive prison term.
Manufacturing Illegal Drugs
It is illegal both in Maryland and under federal law to manufacture illegal drugs. Some of the most commonly manufactured illegal drugs are methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, LSD and PCP. Manufacturing laws also apply to cultivation of marijuana, except in states where it has been legalized. However, federal law still applies in those states.
Maryland law goes one step further, making it illegal to possess equipment that could be used to manufacture controlled substances with the intent to produce and sell those substances. A drug lawyer in Rockville MD, such as Daniel J. Wright can explain the nuances of these laws if you are charged with manufacturing illegal drugs.
Manufacturing Counterfeit Drugs
Maryland law also makes it illegal to produce counterfeit drugs. For example, you could produce fake Percocet, Vicodin or Valium with the intention to sell your counterfeits. You’re also prohibited under the law to manufacture a machine that will stamp your counterfeit pills with numbers that make them look like the real deal. Daniel J. Wright, a drug lawyer in Rockville MD, can help you understand these laws.
Penalties for Drug Manufacturing Charges
Under federal law, if you produce illegal drugs in sufficient quantities, you could be facing up to 40 years in prison and fines of $5 million. In Maryland, the penalties are not as harsh, as local police departments are usually dealing with smaller amounts of the illicit drugs. The penalties for manufacturing illegal drugs vary by how many times you’ve been convicted of drug manufacturing:
- First offense — up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000
- Second offense — up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000
- Third offense — up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
- Fourth offense — up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
It’s important to know that in the eyes of the law, intention to manufacture illegal drugs is no different than actually producing them. You may be arrested for intent to manufacture, even if you had not actually made any illicit drugs. Daniel J. Wright, a drug lawyer in Rockville MD, can help you sort out your options in light of these charges.
Defense Against Manufacturing Charges
There are many roads to defense against drug manufacturing charges. However, the most common one is to assert that your rights under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution have been violated. The Fourth Amendment protects you from unlawful search and seizure. For example, if your home or vehicle was searched without probable cause, a warrant or your permission, your Fourth Amendment rights may have been violated.
Other Drug Possession Defenses
If an illegal search and seizure doesn’t apply to your arrest, we can use other strategies to help get the charges dropped or at least minimized, if possible. Examples of other defenses that may suit your arrest more appropriately, can be strategies like showing why the drugs weren’t actually yours, how the drug sample was mishandled or lost since the arrest, whether drugs were planted, or entrapment was a factor. We can help investigate your arrest deeper, to see if we can uncover any hidden errors that were committed by law enforcement.
Five Myths About Drug Charges
Drug Possession Charges Are Always Misdemeanors
In Maryland, the only possession charge that’s a misdemeanor is possession of marijuana. If you’re found with any other drug on your person, you’ll be facing felony charges, punishable with up to four years in prison and fines up to $25,000. If you’re convicted, it can have a serious deleterious effect on your future, including your ability to find housing and a job. You want a drug lawyer in Rockville MD, on your side to fight your drug charges.
If Police Officers Find Drugs During a Search, You’ll Be Found Guilty
There’s always a chance that the drugs were found illegally, without a warrant or probable cause to do a search. Daniel J. Wright, a drug attorney, may be able to find out if that’s the case in your instance, and potentially have that evidence thrown out. With no admissible evidence that you possessed drugs, the case against you may fall apart.
It’s Just a Little Bit of Marijuana, so It’s Not a Big Deal
A little bit of marijuana can be a very big deal. If you’re only in possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, you still have to pay a fine. Over 10 grams, and you could be looking at a year in jail. If you have more than that, you could face possession with intent to sell, which brings with it a fine of $15,000 and up to five years in jail. A drug lawyer in Rockville MD, may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to get the charges reduced.
If I Talk to the Police, They Are Likely To Dismiss My Charges
You should never talk to the police without a lawyer present. It’s far too easy to slip up and say something incriminating if you’re talking to the police on your own. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, and avail yourself of your right to remain silent.
If Police Ask To Search My Person, Home or My Vehicle, I’m Required To Consent
You are absolutely not required to give consent for a search. If police ask for your consent, very politely tell them no. If they start searching anyway, stand aside and let them. Otherwise you could be facing more criminal charges. If police have a warrant to search your home, vehicle, or person, you are required to let that search happen. A drug lawyer in Rockville MD, such as Daniel J. Wright may be able to quash a warrant or prove a search happened illegally.
If you were arrested for drug possession, do not panic. An arrest does not mean you are automatically guilty and have to face certain consequences. A Baltimore, MD drug lawyer can create an influential defense strategy and advocate for your behalf in court. Please call Daniel J. Wright now so we have more time to work on your case.