What is Maryland Criminal Section 5-601?

MD criminal section 5-601 drug possession

As defined by West’s Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Article 5-601 refers to “Possessing or administering controlled dangerous substance”, with specifications for “Controlled Dangerous Substances, Prescriptions, and Other Substances”, as well as “Crimes Involving Controlled Dangerous Substances and Paraphernalia”.

If you are charged with a violation under Article 5-601, it is generally because of illegal drug possession, illegal administration of drugs, or attempts to obtain controlled dangerous substances through deceit.

What happens if I’m charged with a 5-601 offense?

Charges under Maryland Criminal Article 5-601 are generally considered a misdemeanor offense in the state of Maryland, although it may depend on a number of mitigating circumstances, as well as past offenses. If you are charged with violating Article 5-601, you will be required to appear in court. You may be charged with a civil citation or a crime, depending on the amount and type of substance you are found to be in possession of, administering, or attempting to obtain.

What are the possible penalties for possession of marijuana?

If you are convicted of violating Article 5-601 due to possession or use of marijuana, you could face a fine of up to $1,000, incarceration of one year in jail, or both, for a first offense. However, medical necessity in the use or possession of marijuana may be a mitigating factor, and can be introduced for the consideration of the court.

If a conviction results, despite the fact that marijuana use is deemed to be medically necessary, the penalty may not exceed a fine of $100. Other mitigating factors may also apply. If you are issued a civil citation for possession or use of marijuana, you will not face criminal conviction or potential jail time as a result, but penalties may vary based on prior offenses.

What are the possible penalties for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, not marijuana, in the State of Maryland?

Controlled dangerous substances may refer to any number of drugs aside from marijuana, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, LSD, and so on, including their official, chemical, and common names, as well as illegally-possessed prescription drugs.

If you are convicted of any of following charges:

  • Possession of cocaine in the State of Maryland
  • Possession of heroin in the State of Maryland
  • Possession of methamphetamine in the State of Maryland
  • Possession of LSD in the State of Maryland
  • Administration of cocaine in the State of Maryland
  • Administration of heroin in the State of Maryland
  • Administration of methamphetamine in the State of Maryland
  • Administration of LSD in the State of Maryland
  • Attempts to illegally obtain cocaine in the State of Maryland
  • Attempts to illegally obtain heroin in the State of Maryland
  • Attempts to illegally obtain methamphetamine in the State of Maryland
  • Attempts to illegally obtain LSD in the State of Maryland

You may be subject to fines of up to $25,000, and incarceration of no more than four years in jail, under Maryland Section 5-601(a)(1). Repeat offenders under Article 5-601 may be subject to further fines and/or incarceration, in addition to the potential maximum penalties related to first-time offenses. Other penalties, including court costs, probation, and special circumstances related to probation may also be levied by the court.

What are the penalties for possession of larger amounts of a controlled dangerous substance, not marijuana, in the State of Maryland?

Under Maryland Criminal Section § 5-614, anyone bringing larger amounts of any drug into the state may face harsher penalties, regardless of the State attempting to prove intent to distribute. If you are charged with entering the State of Maryland with any of the following:

  • Possession of marijuana in the State of Maryland: 45 kilograms or more
  • Possession of cocaine in the State of Maryland: 28 grams or more
  • Possession of opium in the State of Maryland: or morphine 4 grams or more, or any derivative
  • Possession of lysergic acid diethylamide in the State of Maryland: 1,000 dosage units
  • Possession of phencyclidine in the State of Maryland: 28 grams or more in liquid or powder
  • Possession of anything containing phencyclidine in the State of Maryland: 112 grams or more
  • Possession of methaqualone in the State of Maryland: 1,000 dosage units or more
  • Possession of methamphetamine in the State of Maryland: 28 grams or more
  • Possession of fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue in the State of Maryland: 4 grams or more

Penalties may be harsher, with a fine up to $50,000.00, and imprisonment for up to 25 years.

Again, conviction and penalties may depend on mitigating circumstances, as well as past offenses.

What should I do if I’m charged with an offense under Maryland Criminal Article 5-601?

Whether you receive a civil citation or criminal charges under Maryland Criminal Article 5-601, the first thing you should do is contact Saller & Bishop at 410-783-7945 for a free consultation. Our reputable and experienced staff will provide you with the legal advice and representation you need to fight charges of illegal drug possession, administration, or attempts to obtain controlled dangerous substances.

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What is Maryland Criminal Section 5-602?

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