Being arrested for possessing illicit drugs is a serious offense.. A conviction for drug possession can impact you for the rest of your life.
Maryland has some of the strictest penalties for drug possession, trafficking, and sales in the country. The legal consequences of a drug conviction can include hefty fines and serious jail time. In addition, a conviction can result in a criminal record that could cause you to lose your driver’s license and affect your ability to get a new job, professional licenses, and government financial aid.
After being arrested for drug possession, knowing what to do will play a considerable role in how your case unfolds. Keep reading to learn what you should and shouldn’t do when arrested for drug possession.
What is Drug Possession?
Drug possession is when you willingly and knowingly possess illegal substances. Federal and state codes prohibit the possession of certain drugs (Maryland Code § 5-601), which can even include the unlawful possession of certain prescription drugs.
That means you must have known that you were carrying the substance. So if you were driving a friend’s car and got stopped by police who discovered there were drugs in the vehicle, you might not be charged with possession if you can prove that you had no idea the drugs were in the car.
What You Should Do When Arrested
Getting arrested is always nerve-wracking. However, it will help your case immensely if you remain calm. Do your best not to let your emotions take over. If you become emotional or even violent, you could end up with more than just a drug possession charge against you.
Be Polite and Respectful
You may not like the police, but you could get yourself into more trouble if you are uncooperative and disrespectful to officers. It is your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, so take advantage of that right if it will help you show that you respect the officers.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with drug possession is a serious offense. Therefore, it’s essential to hire an experienced, qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Having a criminal defense attorney on your side through this situation can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you don’t say or do something that can be used against you when your case goes to court.
Request a Bail Hearing
Drug possession is a bailable offense. Make sure to ask your criminal defense attorney to request a bail hearing on your behalf. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the judge will decide to set or deny bail.
What You Shouldn’t Do When Arrested
Eat the Drugs
It should be apparent that ingesting the drugs is something you shouldn’t do. However, some people try to escape possession charges by eating the drugs. Trying to hide or destroy evidence can quickly turn a misdemeanor case into something more serious. There are serious legal consequences to destroying, hiding, or tampering with evidence.
Lie to Your Attorney
When speaking with your criminal defense attorney, you need to be completely truthful. Your attorney is not there to judge you, they are there to defend you. And if they don’t get the complete story, it can hamper their ability to defend you properly in court.
Talk to the Police Without Your Attorney Present
When you arrive at the police station, officers will question you about the drugs they found. Do not say a word to the police if your attorney isn’t present. The only thing you should tell them is the pertinent information they need during booking.
Write Anything Down
You should also never write anything down. Anything you say or write down “can and will be used against you in the court of law.” You should never sign anything police present to you regardless of whether or not your attorney is present.
Jeremy Widder Law Is On Your Side
Are you facing drug possession charges in Maryland?
While we all try our best, no one is perfect. You want to make sure you have the best representation during such a difficult and stressful time.
At Jeremy Widder Law, we have experience in a wide range of legal practice areas, and we specialize in substance related offenses.
If you or someone you love is facing a substance related offense, we’re on your side and we’re ready to help. Let’s talk.