New Laws in Maryland: Effective October 1, 2014

The Winelander Law Group wanted to take this opportunity to update you of the recent changes to the criminal laws in Maryland. Please read below as some of these changes may affect you!


As of October 1, 2014, Maryland decriminalized the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. Possession of less than 10g will now be classified as a civil offense.

-For a first offense, the offender will be given a citation and a fine of $100.

-For a second offense, the fine increases to $250.

-For a third and any subsequent offense, the penalty increases to the maximum of $500.

Now, if a person is found to be in possession of marijuana of an amount that is less than 10g they are no longer subject to arrest.

If a person commits a third offense (or more) and/or is under the age of 21, they will be summoned to court to appear for trial. The court appearance will be mandatory, and the person will be made to attend a state approved drug treatment program. The citations issued for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana are not subject to public inspection and are not viewable on Maryland Judiciary Case Search.


On the other hand, the penalty for driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both, has increased from a maximum penalty of 1 year of incarceration and a $500 fine, or both, to a maximum penalty of 3 years of incarceration and a $3000 fine, or both.

Other states that have recently decriminalized marijuana have increased efforts to detect drugged driving. Police Officers have been inquiring as to when and where the last marijuana usage was and how much was consumed. They are also on the lookout for glassy and bloodshot eyes in relation to marijuana use. They may also be looking for blunts, joints, and other smoking devices that can be seen “in plain view” in the vehicle. As a word of advice, grab your snacks before you smoke!


Maryland has also criminalized the act of texting while driving if an accident is caused and injuries or death result from the accident. The penalty for this is classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum penalty of 1 year of incarceration and a $5,000 fine, or both.


Maryland has also made revenge porn a crime. This crime carries a possible sentence of 2 years of incarceration and a $5,000 fine, or both for publishing private, intimate, or sexually explicit images on the internet without consent.


We hope that you take notice of these new changes to Maryland’s criminal laws. If you have been arrested or cited for any of these violations, you need an attorney to fight for your rights. Call The Winelander Law Group today and schedule an appointment.