Skip to content


Possession with Intent to Distribute, Distribution, or Manufacturing a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS)

Maryland drug distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and manufacturing charges are particularly serious.  Prison sentences can be lengthy, and significant mandatory minimums are in place for more serious offenses. All of these crimes are felonies.

There are likely to be details about your case that I can exploit to keep you out of jail or get your case dismissed.  I’ve kept hundreds of people out of jail, and I’ve beaten these charges for other people before. Call me now at (301) 556-8709 so that I can start protecting your future.

Crimes involving production and distribution of illegal drugs, such as Possession With Intent to Distribute, Distribution, and Manufacturing are all felonies, and they all have the same penalty structure. If you are charged with one of these crimes, you may see them stated as Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS, Distribution of CDS, or Manufacturing CDS. CDS is an acronym for Controlled Dangerous Substances, a term used to describe illegal drugs in Maryland criminal law. The charge will also usually state exactly which controlled dangerous substance was involved, which is important for sentencing purposes.

Penalties

The allowed punishments depend primarily on the category of drugs and your previous offenses. Schedule I or II narcotics and certain hallucinogenic substances bring harsher punishments with respect to these crimes, but all the other drugs are have the same allowable punishments.

Schedule I or II Narcotics include opium and coca leaves along with their derivatives and chemical analogs. Examples are drugs like heroin, oxycodone or oxycontin, cocaine, and crack.

Certain hallucinogenic substances include, PCP, chemical analogs of PCP, and LSD in any amount. It also includes MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, but only in quantities of 750 grams or more.

Marijuana, one of the most common illegal drugs, does not fall into either of the above categories, and the allowed punishments are the same as they are for any illegal drug not referred to above. Possession of small amounts has been decriminalized but nothing has changed for those accused of distribution or possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Controlled Dangerous Substances Not Listed Below (Marijuana, etc.)

  • 1st Offense: up to 5 years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine
  • 2nd or Later Offense: 2 year mandatory minimum without parole, up to 5 years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine

Schedule I or II Narcotics (Heroin, Oxycontin, Cocaine, Crack, etc.)

  • 1st Offense: up to 20 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine
  • 2nd Offense: 10 year mandatory minimum, up to a $100,000 fine
  • 3rd Offense: 25 year mandatory minimum, up to a $100,000 fine
  • 4th Offense: 40 year mandatory minimum, up to a $100,000 fine

Certain hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, more than 750g of Ecstasy)

  • 1st Offense: up to 20 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine
  • 2nd Offense: 10 year mandatory minimum, up to a $100,000 fine
  • 3rd Offense: 25 year mandatory minimum, up to a $100,000 fine
  • 4th Offense: 40 year mandatory minimum, up to a $100,000 fine

Possession With Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS)

Intent to distribute can be inferred many ways. It can be inferred from the amount, from the packaging, or from the context.

Intent to distribute CDS is often inferred from the amount of controlled dangerous substance found in your possession. There are many arguments that can be made to avoid an inference that you intended to distribute the drugs.

Large Quantities of Drugs

Heavy users can go through a lot of drugs quickly, and it is often more economical for a heavy user to buy a lot of CDS at once, as it drives the per unit cost down. The economics of illegal drugs are not all that different from those in your local supermarket. You will tend to receive a lower price per unit when you buy in bulk, because the seller has lower per unit packaging prices, distribution costs, and transaction costs.

Heavy drug use can represent a significant financial burden on a user, which can eat up a large percentage of their income. Thus, finding the most product at the lowest prices becomes of paramount importance, leading the user to drive a long way and buy large quantities to get the best deal. As your attorney, I can help you avoid an inference that you intended to distribute the drugs in your possession.

You are not alone. Call me at (301) 556-8709 now. I’ve helped others charged with possession with intent to distribute, and I can help you too.

Volume Dealers

While intent to distribute is often imputed at much lower levels, the possession of enormous quantities of a controlled dangerous substance renders you guilty of the crime of being a “Volume Dealer”, without the need to impute an intent to distribute. The possession of such a large quantity becomes a much more serious crime in and of itself, without evidence of intent to distribute. If you are accused of being a “Volume Dealer” you face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, and a fine of up to $100,000.