Fredericksburg Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Lawyer
Possession with intent to distribute is defined by the circumstances of each arrest. The factors include what else was found on or nearby the accused when the drugs were found. The presence of cash or scales or even the quantity of the drugs alone might lead to a possession with intent to distribute charge. Possession with intent charges can have serious consequences for those facing accusations, which is why it is important to work with an experienced drug possession attorney. A determined Fredericksburg drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer could fight for a positive outcome for you.
Elements the Prosecution Must Prove
In possession with intent to distribute cases, the prosecution must prove that the substance in possession is, in fact, an illegal drug. They must also prove that the accused demonstrated an intent to distribute an illegal drug. They will attempt to prove the factors surrounding the arrest. Everything must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for an accused to be convicted.
Determining Possession vs Possession With Intent
The arresting officer and, subsequently, a magistrate will make the initial determination of whether someone is charged with possession with intent to distribute or simple possession.
It is possible for a charge to escalate from simple possession to possession with intent. It is likely that someone is going to be charged with possession with intent to distribute instead of mere possession if there is any evidence at all of the possible intent to distribute drugs, such as:
- Cash on hand
- Scales nearby
- Baggies or other containers used to transport drugs
- Large quantities of drugs
Depending on the circumstances, a person can be charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute. A Fredericksburg drug possession with intent to distribute attorney lawyer could attempt to disprove intent, in order to mitigate the severity of the penalties a person may face.
Investigation of Possession With Intent Cases
Law enforcement will investigate drug possession cases with an eye to elevating the charge to possession with intent to distribute because law enforcement makes distribution a particular priority. There are also other ways that the investigations are conducted by law enforcement, including controlled purchases by confidential informants, which is a common way of catching people with possession with intent to distribute.
If someone has a small amount of a drug, if they have a scale present or if they have what law enforcement determines is a large amount of cash, that could be possession with intent to distribute and law enforcement might testify that, from their training and experience, that person might have just completed a sale. Even if the amount of the drug is so small, they might still pursue a possession with intent charge.
Role of Constructive Possession in Possession With Intent Charges
Constructive possession is when an individual might not have the actual or legal substance on their person, but if the substance is close enough to them, or if they are aware of where the substance is and could exert control over it, that could result in constructive possession. As it relates to a possession with intent to distribute charge, if somebody is found near drugs and other circumstances at the time indicate a possible intent to distribute, then somebody could be charged with possession with intent to distribute.
Consequences for Possession With Intent
Possession with intent to distribute carries a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in prison, which makes it a far more serious charge than simple drug possession. There are no diversion programs for first-time possession with intent to distribute charges.
The first offender program for drug offenses is not available for distribution charges. However, there is a defense of accommodation, which is still a felony but reduces the maximum sentence available if the circumstances can be proven to warrant the defense of accommodation. A Fredericksburg drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer could examine the facts of a person’s case and attempt to mitigate the severity of the penalties that they may face.
Consulting a Fredericksburg Drug Possession With Intent to Distribute Attorney
If you have been charged with drug possession with intent to distribute, it is imperative that you seek the services of a Fredericksburg drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer. A qualified possession attorney could collect the necessary evidence to build your defense. The lawyer could attempt to disprove intent in order to weaken the prosecution’s case while strengthening yours. Speak with a determined drug attorney that could fight for you.