Drug Possession Maryland Lawyer Harford Control Evidence Statute

Carson v. State

Facts:

Defendant wife appealed her convictions in the Circuit Court for Harford (Maryland) for possession and sale of marijuana and possession of narcotic drug paraphernalia. Defendant husband appealed his convictions for two counts of control of marijuana. Both defendants asserted that the evidence was insufficient to support their convictions.

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Drug Possession Maryland Lawyer Harford Control Evidence Statute
Drug Possession Maryland Lawyer Harford Control Evidence Statute

Holdings:

The Maryland Court made the following holding:

  • Where one has exclusive possession of a home or apartment in which prohibited narcotics are found, it may be inferred, even in the absence of other incriminating evidence, that such person knew of the presence of the narcotics and had control of them. However, where the accused has not been in such exclusive possession, it may not be inferred that he knew of the presence of the narcotics and had control of them, unless other incriminating circumstances are shown which tend to buttress such an inference.
  • Md. Ann. Code art. 27, § 277 makes it unlawful for any person to have under his control any prohibited narcotic drug. As used in the statute, the term “control” means to exercise restraining or directing influence over what is not in one’s physical possession. To obtain a conviction for controlling a narcotic drug under § 277, it is not necessary for the State to allege or prove scienter. The State is not required to show that the accused’s control of the narcotic drug was knowing and willful. It is no excuse that the accused does not know that what he controls is a prohibited narcotic drug. However, before the State may obtain a conviction, it must adduce evidence to meet the test of legal sufficiency. Such evidence must show directly, or support a rational inference, that the accused did in fact control the drug in the sense contemplated by the statute, namely, that he exercised restraining or a directing influence over it.

We have client meeting locations in Montgomery County (Rockville) & Baltimore, Maryland

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case. Our law firm has the necessary experience to assist you with this matter.

Article written by A Sris
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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.