Possession with intent to distribute is an extremely serious offense that may include serious jail time even for a first offense. For a second offense, a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 3 years is charged while for a third offense the mandatory minimum period increases to not less than 10 years and maximum punishment of life imprisonment. With these penalties in mind it is imperative a Leesburg possession with intent to distribute lawyer is contacted to help you navigate the legal system and get the best result based on the facts and circumstances of the case. To learn more or begin building a defense for your case, consult with a drug lawyer in Leesburg today.
Virginia takes possession with intent to distribute very seriously and punishes it severely. Possession with intent to distribute controlled substances is covered by Virginia Code Section 18.2 – 248. This section covers a wide variety of drug activities, and all are serious felony offenses. That code section includes the following activities as being equal to possession with intent to distribute:
These are unclassified felonies punishable by not less than 5 or more than 40 years in prison. In addition, there are certain types of distribution that include additional mandatory minimum terms. These include charges related to large amounts of cocaine, large amounts of heroin, and the manufacture of methamphetamine.
If you have been charged with possession with intent to distribute, or distribution of schedule 1 or 2 controlled substances in Leesburg, it is important to contact an experienced Leesburg possession with intent to distribute attorney right away.
It is common to be charged with intent to distribute if you are found in possession of a large quantity of drug material or if you are found in possession with drug material at the same time as other circumstantial evidence consistent with possession or distribution.
Circumstantial evidence may include baggies or vials; materials used for weighing, measuring or separating large quantity of drugs; cash in a denomination consistent with receipt or sales; sale lists; cell phone activity; and statements of the accused and/or their co-defendants.
A number of different factors may be used to satisfy the intent piece of possession with intent to distribute, all which your possession with intent to distribute lawyer in Leesburg can work to defend against. The government does not need to prove an actual distribution plan to distribute drugs. They can prove the element of the offense purely through circumstantial evidence.
Constructive possession fulfills the possession requirement in the possession with intent to distribute charge. That means that according to the evidence for the offense, actual possession and constructive possession are no different if you have been charged or convicted of possession with intent to distribute. Constructive possession is the doctrine that says you don’t have to have the alleged drug material on your person or readily accessible to you in order for you to be in possession of that substance.
A common constructive possession example is when someone has access to the alleged drug material to the exclusion of others. This may mean that the materials are locked in a safe or lockbox that only they have key to, even if they are not found together with the safe at the time the safe is found. Another example of constructive possession is if the drug material is found in the vehicle in an area where only the concerned person can reach that material and others cannot.
If you are charged with possession with intent to distribute, you are eligible for what is called a 254 Evaluation. This may allow for the plaintiff to receive services and loss of liberty for treatment, based on certain circumstances. If you are battling addiction and have a relapse that led you to be charged with a serious drug offense, it is important to ask your Leesburg possession with intent to distribute lawyer about alternative sentencing options.
The court will require that you have an attorney for possession with intent to distribute charge unless you have waived your right to counsel. You may face prison time or local jail time depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
An experienced local criminal defense attorney can help you find out what defenses you have available for this charge. A Leesburg possession with intent to distribute lawyer can identify what mitigation may be available to lessen the penalties you are facing, and negotiate these broad offenses with the local Commonwealth attorney. Call today to schedule a case review.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law