OUR RATES INCLUDE
Updated April 20th, 2023
When most people think of “drug crimes,” they automatically assume the worst types of drugs. Heroin. Cocaine. LSD. But the word “drugs” also includes lots of common, and sometimes, beneficial chemicals, as well, like ibuprofen, and nicotine. The difference between whether these drugs are legal or illegal depends on whether the state of Maine has outlawed their use or possession. For some drugs, like heroin, the rule is simple, and straightforward – you can never use or possess heroin legally. For other substances, however, the context surrounding your use or possession is crucially important.
To help in determining how the law regulates certain drugs, the state of Maine has created four categories of drugs and chemical substances, which it calls “Schedules.” These Schedules are arranged in letters – W, X, Y, and Z – and generally lists substances from most harmful (Schedule W), to least harmful (Schedule Z).
Schedule W contains the most well-known drugs. These are the most darangerous drugs, because they’re easy to get addicted to, and often lead to destructive patterns of drug abuse. Many of these drugs have no recognized medicinal value. Drugs in Schedule W include:
Schedule X contains lesser hallucinogens and depressants. The drugs in this classification are less intense than those in Schedule W, and are used for medicinal purposes more often. Drugs in Schedule X include:
Schedule Y contains many potentially dangerous and addictive chemicals that appear in prescription drugs. As such, their negative aspects come with significant medicinal purposes, as well. Schedule Y drugs include:
Schedule Z is a catch-all category, and includes any drug not listed in the other Schedules, as well as marijuana.
While many of these drug names are difficult to pronounce, and make it seem like you’re reading the ingredients on a tube of toothpaste, that does not mean that you won’t be held accountable if you’re found with them when you’re not supposed to.
When it comes to drug-related offenses, the legal system categorizes crimes into various classifications based on their severity and the type of drugs involved. Understanding the classification of drug crimes is essential to comprehend the potential consequences and penalties associated with each offense. In this section, we will explore the different categories of drug crimes and the possible corresponding legal implications.
The classification of drug crimes in Maine is determined by the drug schedule, which dictates the severity of the offense and the potential penalties. These crimes are categorized into classes A, B, C, D, or E, each carrying specific maximum penalties in terms of imprisonment and fines.
Class A crimes are considered felonies and can result in up to 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000. Class B crimes, also felonies, carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Similarly, Class C felonies can lead to up to 5 years of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
For less serious offenses, Class D misdemeanors can result in up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, while Class E misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.
Understanding the classifications of drug crimes is crucial for anyone facing such charges in Maine. It is essential to seek legal counsel to navigate the complexities of the legal system and work towards the best possible outcome in your case.
Drug possession in Maine is classified based on the drug schedule, the quantity of the drug in possession, and any prior convictions. The severity of the offense determines the corresponding classification and potential penalties.
For instance, possession of a specific quantity of Schedule W drugs falls under a Class C felony. On the other hand, possession of Schedule Y or Z drugs is considered a Class E misdemeanor.
Furthermore, if a defendant is found in possession of crack cocaine and has a prior conviction for drug possession or trafficking, it becomes an aggravating factor. This elevation in severity results in the possession of crack cocaine being treated as a Class C felony.
In Maine, the possession of marijuana is subject to different classifications and penalties based on the quantity in possession. These classifications vary from Class E misdemeanor to Class B felony.
If an individual is found in possession of over 2.5 to 8 ounces of marijuana, it is considered a Class E misdemeanor. Possession of over 8 ounces to 16 ounces (one pound) falls under a Class D misdemeanor. For possession of over one pound to 20 pounds, it is elevated to a Class C felony. Possession of over 20 pounds of marijuana is classified as a Class B felony.
Moreover, marijuana cultivation also carries varying penalties based on the number of plants involved. Cultivating 500 or more plants is considered a Class B crime. Cultivating between 100 to 500 plants falls under a Class C crime, while cultivating between 5 to 100 plants is classified as a Class D crime. Finally, cultivating fewer than 5 plants is considered a Class E crime.
If you have any questions, or are already facing drug charges, call William T. Bly at The Maine Criminal Defense Group (207) 571-8146 to discuss your case.
If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
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