Felonies, especially drug crimes, involve mandatory minimum sentences and substantial fines that can alter the life of a Maryland resident. Not only does a prison sentence remain on their record and affect job and child custody prospects, but monetary fines can cause financial hardship and worsen an already difficult situation. This may be why people charged with drug crimes should be aware of their legal rights and consider availing them as soon as possible, in the interest of protecting themselves from these harsh penalties.
The 21 people charged recently in connection with an alleged heroin trafficking ring in Maryland may also be considering their legal rights. According to a statement from the state attorney's office, the alleged trafficking ring conducted most of its business near an elementary school. As mentioned previously on this blog, this can adversely affect the penalties associated with drug crime convictions.
According to authorities, 16 of those charged are facing drug charges within the state and five are facing federal charges. Of these 21, 11 are in police custody and the others are still being searched for. They face a minimum of five years to a maximum of 40 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin and up to 20 years imprisonment for each count of distributing heroin. Altogether, this can add up to a number of years of incarceration.
Felony charges, especially those carrying serious penalties should be taken seriously and fought aggressively from the onset. Those facing charges should consider availing their right to an attorney and speak to one as soon as possible, preferably before making a statement. An experienced attorney can help them defend their rights.
Source: Baltimore Sun, "21 charged in West Baltimore heroin trafficking operation," Jessica Anderson, Mar. 11, 2016