Have you been arrested for possession of drugs?
Possession of paraphernalia mirrors possession of a controlled dangerous substance also known as “CDS”. Possession encompasses more than what is in a defendant’s physical possession, it encompasses what is in their physical possession as well as their “constructive possession.” Constructive possession is a fact-driven analysis of all the surrounding circumstances. In order to prove possession, the State must prove that the:
Defendant possessed the substance
Substance was illegal.
Defendant knew the general character or illicit nature of the substance
We understand how difficult this can be for you and your family
This is why we take the time to listen and answer all of your questions. We also guide you to the best possible outcome for your case.
Taking control after you have been charged with a crime doesn’t have to be difficult.
Our experienced Maryland drug defense team can help. Here’s how to get started:
1. Schedule a Call
2. Develop a Plan
3. Get Results
You can relax as we execute the plan so you can achieve the best possible results for your criminal case.
You need the right drug defense attorney in Maryland
No factual issue is more litigated in Maryland than the topic of possession of drugs or controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Possession means having control over something, either directly or indirectly. More than one person can possess a single item. The factors a judge or jury look to are:
- The proximity of where the defendant was compared to where the illicit substance was found.
- Any ownership or possessory interest in the place where the illicit substance was found (who owns the car, who owns the home, or who rents the bedroom where the substance was found).
- Any evidence of mutual use and enjoyment (were using drugs in the room where the defendant and the substance were found).
These are fact-driven questions. Often, the questions revolve around drugs found in a car after a routine traffic stop or in a house when the police execute a search warrant for the house when there are multiple people present. While these circumstances certainly give the police probable cause to arrest someone, they are filled with issues that can be litigated. It is up to an experienced criminal lawyer to file the right motions with the Court and ask the right questions of the police to generate these issues.
Possession of Paraphernalia
The added issue with possession of paraphernalia is that the item or items must be possessed with the intent to use them to package, store, conceal, or ingest drugs.
Some items themselves, such as rolling papers or sandwich bags (also known as baggies), are not per se illegal as drug paraphernalia. On the contrary, they may have legitimate uses and may be sold in convenience stores or gas stations across the state. What changes their character from normal, everyday items to illegal drug paraphernalia are the circumstances surrounding their use in the ingestion or storage of drugs.
The first offense of possession of paraphernalia is punishable by a fine of up to $500. There is no jail time for a first offense. If a defendant has a prior offense, and they are notified of enhanced penalties, there is the possibility of higher fines and even jail time.
For more information, see What to Expect During Your Drug Possession Case.