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Phone: 410-390-3101
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maryland criminal section 5-602 intent to distribute

Intent to Distribute

As defined by West's Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Article 5-602 refers to "Manufacturing, distributing, possession with intent to distribute, or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance". It states that a person may not "distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance", nor can a person, "possess a controlled dangerous substance in sufficient quantity reasonably to indicate under all circumstances an intent to distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance".

A controlled dangerous substance could include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and so on, as well as illegally-possessed prescription drugs. It is important to understand that the "sufficient quantity" used to indicate an intent to distribute is not a set quantity, and that it may vary by the type of controlled dangerous substance in question.

What happens if I am charged with Maryland Criminal Section 5-602?

Charges filed under Maryland Criminal Article 5-602 are generally considered a felony, and you will be required to appear in court.

What are the possible penalties for violation of Article 5-602?

Penalties for conviction under Maryland Criminal Article 5-602 may vary based on the type of controlled dangerous substances in question, the quantities involved, whether or not you are charged with possession and intent to distribute or actual distribution, and prior convictions, as well as additional charges related to possession of drug paraphernalia.

For example, possession and intent to distribute cocaine, crack, ecstasy, GHB, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, and some prescription drugs is considered a felony and could result in fines of no more than $25,000 and incarceration of no more than 20 years in jail. For all other drugs, however, penalties could be limited to fines of no more than $15,000 and incarceration of no more than five years in jail (for a first offense).

The same possible penalties apply to conviction for actual distribution of controlled dangerous substances, as well as conviction for manufacturing controlled dangerous substances (which includes not only distribution of controlled dangerous substances, but also possessing, distributing, or creating a machine, instrument, or device, or a combination of these items, that is capable of producing a controlled dangerous substance).

In concurrence with charges under Maryland Criminal Article 5-602, you may face charges under Maryland Article 5-619, which relates to drug paraphernalia, including any equipment, products, or materials associated with using or manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance.

Examples of such items may include:

  • scales
  • vials
  • baggies
  • bongs
  • syringes
  • and more.

The first offense under Maryland Criminal Article 5-619 is a misdemeanor, and conviction entails a penalty of no more than $500. Further violations are also misdemeanors, and may including increasing fines and incarceration. If you are convicted of an offense associated with marijuana paraphernalia, and there are mitigating circumstances such as medical necessity, your penalty may not exceed a fine of $100.

What should I do if I am charged with violating Maryland Criminal Article 5-602?

Conviction under Maryland Criminal Article 5-602 can be devastating to your future life and career, resulting in serious penalties. If you are charged with violating Article 5-602, contact the experienced professionals at Bishop Law Group immediately. Our qualified lawyers have the expertise to help you fight conviction. Call us today at (410) 390-3101 for your free consultation.


What is Maryland Criminal Section 5-601?

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