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Drug Crimes

Charged with a drug possession crime?
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Most drug-related crimes in the State of Maryland carry a possible period of incarceration and/or substantial fines if you are convicted.  Additionally, if you are found guilty of a drug-related offense, you will have a criminal conviction on your record that will be visible to employers, housing authorities, and other entities. No matter how minor or insignificant the event that led to the charge may have seemed, the charge should not be taken lightly.  An experienced Baltimore County criminal defense attorney can help you by protecting your rights and asserting any applicable defenses to avoid having a conviction on your record. 

Drug Kingpin

A “drug kingpin” is any person who occupies the position of an organizer, a supervisor, a financier, or a manager as a co-conspirator in a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense, and/or bring into the State a controlled dangerous substance.  The term “drug kingpin” applies only to a person who holds a leadership position in a large-scale drug trafficking network. There may be more than one drug kingpin in the drug trafficking network.  A drug kingpin is more than just a low-level participant, but rather a person who occupied a leadership position of a large-scale drug trafficking network.

To be convicted as a drug kingpin, the State must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

      1. That a conspiracy existed to manufacture, distribute, dispense, and/or bring into the State a controlled dangerous
        substance in a sufficient quantity;
      2. That the Defendant was a member of the conspiracy;
      3. That the Defendant held a leadership position in the conspiracy. 
Drug Kingpin

Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance

Possession with Intent to Distribute a Fake Controlled Dangerous Substance

Maintaining a Common Nuisance

Maintaining a common nuisance means keeping a dwelling (e.g., house), building (e.g., warehouse), vehicle, or any other place that is used repeatedly or continuously by individuals for the purposes of illegal administering, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, storing, and/or concealing a controlled dangerous substance or controlled drug paraphernalia.

To be convicted of maintaining a common nuisance, the State must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

      1. That the Defendant maintained a dwelling, building, vehicle, or any other place; and,
      2. The place that the Defendant maintained:
        1. Was used by individuals repeatedly or continuously for the purpose of administering illegally controlled dangerous substances; or,
        2. Where controlled dangerous substances and/or controlled drug paraphernalia were repeatedly or continuously illegally manufactured, distributed, dispensed, stored, and/or concealed.

Maintaining a common nuisance is a felony offense.

In Skinner v. State, 16 Md. App. at 127 (1972), the Maryland Court of Special Appeals maintained the common law definition of common nuisance as one who  “maintains, promotes, or continues what is noisome and offensive, or annoying and vexatious, or plainly hurtful to the public, or is a public outrage against common decency or common morality, or which tends plainly and
directly to the corruption of the morals, honesty, and good habits of the people …”

Various court decisions have made it clear that the recurring nature of the offense is the primary element of the offense.  See e.g., McMillian v. State, 325 Md. 272 (1991).  However, a single incident alone may be sufficient in some cases.  See Hunt v. State, 20 Md. App. 164 (1974).

Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance - Not Marijuana

Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance - Marijuana

Possession of Controlled Paraphernalia

Controlled Paraphernalia