While cocaine isn't a drug that makes the news very often these days, there are still many individuals who are addicted to it. This poses a very serious conundrum for them because the need to obtain the drug clouds their judgment to the point that they don't think about it being illegal to even have in your possession.
The laws in Maryland are strict, but there is one saving grace here. Possession charges are usually misdemeanors that might be handled through drug court. Even when they aren't sent through this option, the penalties are less severe than those for selling or trafficking the drug.
Simple possession charges mean that you are facing up to four years in prison. A fine of $25,000 is also possible. The penalties you face double with subsequent convictions.
Bringing cocaine into the state is another serious matter. If you bring 28 grams or more in, you are facing a felony charge that can land you behind bars for 25 years. You may also have a fine of up to $50,000.
The sale of cocaine is a felony that comes with a fine of $25,000 and a 20-year prison term possible. A person who is convicted on subsequent charges faces double penalties. These come with a two-year mandatory incarceration and a total sentence that can't be less than 10 years. A third offense has a mandatory minimum sentence of 40 years.
Higher quantities of the drug can mean increased penalties. If you are said to have sold more than 50 grams of crack cocaine or 448 grams of cocaine, there is a possible sentence of at least 40 years. Another enhancement of the penalties occurs if you sell to minors or near a school.
Make sure that you are aware of what options you have for these cases. Drug court is sometimes possible, which could reduce the severity of the sentence you are facing.