Maine Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
Serving Saco, Biddeford, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland Communities
Maine is considered to be one of the safest states in the country and this can be credited to the many proactive law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Maine police officers continually target suspected drug circles and rely on community relations to arrest suspects and reduce crime. The Maine Revised Statute Title 17-A, Chapter 45 addresses the types of drug crimes that can be committed within the state and the penalties involved with each crime.
The State of Maine recognizes 4 schedules of drugs. Crimes involving drugs from different levels will result in different classes of penalties. The schedules are W, X, Y and Z and they include the following controlled substances:
Schedule W: This includes many of the most well-known drugs. These drugs are also some of the most addictive and, therefore most dangerous. Drugs include amphetamines, cocaine, oxycodone, heroin, methadone, hallucinogenics like MDMA and more.
Schedule X: Drugs like chlorhexadol, nalorphine, hashish, and more are in this schedule. The names may not be recognizable, but most drugs that are depressants or hallucinogens not listed in schedule W are included here.
Schedule Y: This schedule includes drugs like codeine, flurazepam which are used in many prescription drugs.
Schedule Z: All prescription drugs other than those included in schedules W, X or Y are included in this schedule as well as marijuana.
Common Drug Crimes
Drug Possession Under Maine Revised Statute Title §1107-A, a person will be found guilty of unlawful possession of a scheduled drug if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses what that person believes or knows to be a scheduled drug. These charges are categorized based on the type and amount of drug found, and penalties range from a Class B crime to a Class C crime.
Trafficking Trafficking charges generally refer to the sale or distribution of illegal drugs and may result in federal charges for manufacturing, transporting, exporting, distributing or dispensing controlled substances. Maine Revised Statute Title §1105-A outlines the specific circumstances that may result in aggravated trafficking charges that will result in Class A penalties. This drug crime is a crime of intent, which means that the State must prove that you intentionally or knowingly sold drugs in order to convict you.
Cultivation of Drugs Certain plants, such as cannabis and opium, are capable of producing illegal drugs when they are cultivated correctly. Maine's drug cultivation laws make it a crime to grow, produce or possess these certain plants and other naturally occurring elements that are used in the production of illegal controlled substances. Penalties may include fines up to $2,000 and a maximum of one year in jail.
Marijuana On November 3, 2009, voters in Maine approved Question 5, which enacted the citizen-initiated bill to establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act. Maine was the fifth state to provide dispensaries of medical grade marijuana for medical patients who qualify, but criminal charges will still result for those who have not received approval to use marijuana.
Prescription Fraud There are many actions that can be classified as prescription fraud in Maine, and you may be facing these charges for altering a legitimate prescription to obtain a larger quantity or for stealing a prescription pad. Any act of deception that leads to the obtaining of prescription drugs can be classified as prescription fraud under Maine Revised Statute Title §1108.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Maine
Drug crimes are classified in every class of crimes in Maine. Class A crimes are the most serious and can lead to a 30 year jail sentence and $50,000 in fines. Class B are also felony offenses and can lead to 10 years in jail and $20,000 in fines. A Class C conviction has a maximum sentence of 5 years in jail and/or $5,000 in fines and Class D convictions can lead to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. The lightest offenses will result in Class E charges which still can result in 6 months of jail time and $1,000 in fines.
Challenging Your Drug Charges
Regardless of the circumstances that have led to your arrest for a drug crime, you have the right to be treated fairly and with respect by the police. You must always keep in mind that anything you say can be used against you in court, and you should not be intimidated into answering questions. You are always entitled to see a copy of any search warrant that an officer claims to have, and keep in mind that police can use reasonable force to gain entry into your premises.
The experienced attorneys at The Law Office of William T. Bly know the best ways to defend drug crimes. In most drug cases, the most incriminating evidence against you is the drugs themselves, so simply arguing that you were not in possession of drugs is not going to be a strong defense. Instead, our lawyers throughout Maine including Biddeford, will work to find a reason to have the evidence suppressed. If the police made a mistake when searching you or your property and the means that were used to obtain the evidence (i.e. the drugs) were unconstitutional, then the drugs will not be admissible into evidence. If there is no evidence, there is no case against you. If you are facing any drug charges, contact our offices for aggressive legal representation.