A Former Prosecutor Well-Respected in the Community with a Background Unlike Any Other Lawyer
The criminal justice system may seem daunting, overwhelming, and insurmountable. This is not the case, however, for an attorney like Julie M. Guyer. Attorney Guyer has been practicing criminal law for over 30 years, defending clients against accusations on all points of the criminal spectrum, from drug possession to gun crimes to violent offenses. She is a well-respected advocate among the legal community and brings the unique experience of being a former prosecutor and a former state trooper. She also has strong relationships with local state and judges’ offices.
Let Julie M. Guyer, Attorney at Law protect your right to a future. Contact her online or at (410) 834-0373 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options today.
Drug Possession and Distribution in Maryland
Like many states, it is illegal in Maryland to possess, obtain, or minister a prohibited controlled substance. Recall that the state classifies such illicit drugs in 5 different schedules from most dangerous to least dangerous:
- Schedule I – heroin, marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, peyote
- Schedule II – cocaine, Vicodin, oxycodone, methamphetamines, painkillers, morphine, stimulants like Adderall, opium
- Schedule III – narcotics, codeine, anabolic steroids, ketamine
- Schedule IV – anti-anxiety medication like Xanax and Valium, sedatives like Ambien, epileptic medication like Ativan
- Schedule V – cough suppressants containing small amounts of codeine like Robitussin, pain medication
The penalties for possession of any of the above depend on the type of the drug and amount in question. The penalties may also rise if the defendant possessed such substances with intent to distribute. For each drug’s specific sentencing guidelines, visit our Drug Crimes page.
Note that the penalties could significantly increase if the drug offense relates to sale, distribution, or manufacture, rather than personal possession. The sentence will similarly vary based on the amount in question and the type of the drug, but the general penalties involving sale or distribution of a narcotic drug is 20 years in prison and a fine of $25,000 ($100,000 for second or subsequent offenses).
Criminalized Gun Crimes
Another category of criminal offense in Maryland is gun crimes. There are several circumstances that might result in a gun crime, such as:
- carrying a handgun without a legal permit;
- carrying a dangerous weapon without a permit or reasonable authorization;
- possessing banned weapons;
- possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds;
- using a gun while committing a violent crime or felony;
- possessing a firearm as a felon.
The penalties for the above will vary depending on the offense. For instance, unpermitted handgun carry could warrant up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of $250-$2,500, and possession of a banned weapon could range from 3 years in prison and a $5,000 fine (for banned assault guns) to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine (for destructive devices). Additionally, using a gun or firearm while committing a crime could lead to a 5-20-year prison sentence that will be in addition to the jail time ordered for the underlying offense.
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Violent crimes like assault, murder, and manslaughter are also penalized seriously in Maryland. More specifically, assault, also known as battery, could lead to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500, at the least. Felony assault could call for further enhanced penalties, such as if the alleged victim of assault is a special individual (e.g., a police officer, correctional officer, parole agent, firefighter, or any other first responder). Such felony assault is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Beyond assault are murder and manslaughter charges. Note that the difference between first-degree murder and second-degree murder is that the former requires premeditation.
First-degree murder is punishable by life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole, and second-degree murder is a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible to argue down a second-degree murder charge to the voluntary manslaughter level if proven that the killing was committed in a “heat of passion.” Voluntary manslaughter carries a lesser sentence of 10 years in prison or up to 2 years in jail and a $500 fine, depending on the case.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer like Julie M. Guyer can help you craft a compelling defense against your violent crime accusations. For instance, she could pursue the self-defense argument if relevant to your case or argue voluntary intoxication, which could reduce a first-degree charge to the second degree.
Your Advocate. Your Attorney. Your Lawyer. Your Future.
If you are facing criminal charges, it is natural to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. However, do not feel discouraged; there is light at the end of the tunnel. With the help of an experienced and skilled defense attorney, you can put up a strong fight for your rights within a tough criminal justice system. Attorney Julie M. Guyer is a dedicated and tenacious fighter in the courtroom who will do her best for her clients. Don’t risk your future without a fight; let Attorney Guyer champion your defense today.
Schedule a free consultation online or at (410) 834-0373 to get started today.
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Former Prosecutor & Maryland State Trooper