As we mentioned in a previous post, jurisdictions across America will no
longer be seeking mandatory minimum sentences from
drug offenses. While this will likely result in shorter sentences for many people convicted
of petty drug crimes, it’s important to remember that such crimes
can still carry stiff fines and penalties. In fact, a single offense often
carries multiple charges, multiplying the accusations that must be faced in court.
Two 18-year-old men found themselves in this situation recently, after
a traffic stop led to their drug-related arrest. Police officers spotted
the men traveling 69 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. Officers
performed a traffic stop. While speaking with the driver, the arresting
officer allegedly smelled marijuana in the vehicle.
The officer then performed a search of the vehicle. He found approximately
100 grams of marijuana. He also uncovered an undisclosed amount of money.
Both men were arrested and taken to Kent County Detention Center. Bail
was set at $10,000.
Each man is now facing three charges for his involvement in the situation:
possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute
and possession of drug paraphernalia. The police report does not clarify
what sort of drug paraphernalia was found at the scene.
The laws governing drug offenses often overlap, meaning it is very common
for a single action to lead to multiple charges. In some cases, people
can suddenly find themselves accused of committing a large and intimidating
array of crimes. In such situations, judges and attorneys involved in
the case should look closely at each charge to determine whether it has
merit. Failure to do so could cause to a defendant to be found guilty
of a crime he or she never committed.
Middletown Transcript, “Middletown-area teens facing drug charges in Maryland” Scott Goss, Sep. 08, 2013