Caught with possession of drugs? Our Anne Arundel Lawyers Can Possibly Help!
Possession of paraphernalia mirrors possession of 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 prosecution must prove that the:
- Defendant possessed the substance
- Defendant knew the general character or illicit nature of the substance
- Substance was illegal.
Possession of Paraphernalia
The added issue with a 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. To the contrary, they may have legitimate uses and may be sold is 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.
Possession of Drugs in Maryland
No factual issue is more litigated in Maryland than the topic of possession of drugs, or controlled dangerous substance (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 which 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.
Experienced Drug Attorney
If you have been charged with drug possession, please contact the experienced drug defense attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A. We serve the Baltimore, Annapolis, Glen Burnie, and Columbia, Maryland area.