Among the most frequently charged and prosecuted cases in the criminal justice system are cases involving the possession of controlled dangerous substances. These cases must be differentiated from their more serious felony narcotics cases typically known as distribution or possession with the intent to distribute cases. So called "simple possession", or possession of drugs for personal consumption, are misdemeanors under Maryland law. This is not universally the case in the United States, with many states classifying the possession of relatively small quantities of CDS as a felony, even when there is no proof of an intent to distribute the CDS.
Although drug possession charges are misdemeanors under Maryland law, a conviction for this type of offense can have serious consequences that can adversely effect a person for the rest their life. In addition to the potential of jail sentences as long as 4 years, such a conviction can seriously hinder a person’s ability to find housing or to find or keep employment. Many employers are extremely reluctant to hire persons with drug conviction as people who are using can be unpredictable and untrustworthy. People convicted of drug possession can also be subjected to long and stringent terms of probation. Most often they are subjected to random testing, participation in time consuming and expensive drug treatment and other conditions which can be difficult to follow perfectly. Any slip up such as a positive drug test can trigger a violation of probation which most often results in a period of incarceration and a permanent criminal record.
STSW’s team of former state and federal prosecutors, has handled literally thousands of these cases on both sides of the aisle over the past 30 plus years. Unlike most criminal firms who file only boiler plate motions to suppress in all drug cases, the Criminal Team at STSW researches and drafts detailed motions to suppress evidence tailored to the specific facts of your case, even in many simple possession cases. These custom drafted motions afford a defendant a far better chance of having the evidence against him suppressed than do the boiler plate motions filed by most firms. As former prosecutors, we are also intimately aware of the procedures and strategies that Assistant State’s Attorneys and Federal Prosecutors will use to try to gain convictions. This “inside” knowledge can be the difference between a successful defense and an unsuccessful one. These cases require knowledgeable and aggressive representation and that is what we will provide to you at STSW.