The use of cocaine, or benzoylmethyleconine, was rarely prosecuted in the United States until 1970, when the government passed the Controlled Substances Act. Now, cocaine crimes are aggressively prosecuted and carry stiff penalties that can jeopardize a person’s future. If you have been arrested for cocaine possession or another drug crime in Maryland, you would be well advised to retain the services of one of the experienced Waldorf defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer.
What is Cocaine?
Although classified as a narcotic, which traditionally referred to substances that blunt the senses but later evolved to refer to any strictly illegal drug, cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant, which is found in coca plant leaves. As with a number of modern controlled substances, cocaine was widely used after its discovery until its addictive properties became apparent and the problems associated with cocaine use gained public notice. Now, cocaine is on the list of Schedule II controlled substances that are prohibited by the federal government, as well as the state of Maryland.
Types of Cocaine Crimes
There are various circumstances under which a person may be charged with a cocaine crime in Maryland, which also apply to any other controlled substance. A person would be guilty of a primary cocaine crime if they:
- Possess or administer the drug to another;
- Obtain or attempt to obtain the drug;
- Distribute the drug;
- Possess with the intent to distribute the drug;
- Dispense the drug;
- Manufacture the drug;
- Possess a machine, equipment, or other instrument or device to produce the drug;
- Create, distribute, or possess the drug labeled and/or packaged as another; or
- Keep a dwelling, building, vehicle, or other place where individuals administer the drug or where the drug or controlled paraphernalia are manufactured, stored, distributed, or concealed.
There are other “related and derivative crimes” and “miscellaneous crimes” that a person may be charged with in addition to any of the crimes listed above. Without the help of an aggressive drug crime defense lawyer, it is likely that a suspected cocaine offender will be convicted, resulting in a number of possible penalties, including a prison sentence, a mark on your permanent record, and/or a hefty fine.
A cocaine crime conviction in Maryland can adversely affect a person’s professional, financial, and personal future, not to mention result in psychological and/or emotional trauma. They can lose their job and have difficulty finding another one, as well as lose those closest and dear to them. A cocaine conviction is life-altering. If you have been convicted of a cocaine crime, you still have legal rights. At Alpert Schreyer, our drug crime defense attorneys can build a strong defense on your behalf in order to protect your future. To learn more about having the charges against you reduced or dismissed, contact us today for a free consultation at (866) 444-6363.