Newport News Possession With Intent To Distribute Lawyer

Possession with intent to distribute is typically determined by how much of a drug or controlled substance is found on the defendant and what other evidence is present that suggests the drugs weren’t only for personal use. In general, these charges are much more serious than simple possession charges as even just possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute if it’s over half an ounce (and up to 5 pounds) is a felony punishable by prison time from 1 to 10 years at the discretion of the jury or court.

Due to this severity and the way in which these types of charges are dealt with, it is imperative you seek the counsel of a Newport News possession with intent to distribute lawyer as soon as possible to try and minimize the harm of these charges as much as possible. A drug lawyer in Newport News will be able to look at the facts of your case and develop a strong defense while also helping you navigate the criminal justice system. Call today to learn more.

Scenarios Where Possession with Intent is Charged

The most common way that Newport News PWID lawyers see this charge come about is during a routine traffic stop where the officer finds drugs in the vehicle, and it is a larger amount, the logic being that if someone was just looking for personal use, then there would only be a small amount available for one person in the defendant’s possession. With marijuana in particular, a large amount is construed as being intended for more than one person.

Another common way possession with intent is charged is when the drug is marijuana and there’s additional evidence found that may suggest the person accused intended to distribute it, which can come in a variety of forms. Most commonly this evidence includes baggies, scales, a list of names, multiple phones, or larger amounts of cash.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession means that the drug is not found directly on the person, but the person still knew or should have known that the drug was present, and they’re also in a position to exercise dominion and control over the substance. As far as possession with intent, this can mean that somebody is charged with a pretty serious drug crime even if they don’t have these drugs on their person as long as it can be proven that the drugs were under their dominion and control and they knew or should have known the drugs were there.

Possession With Intent v. Simple Possession Charges

Newport News will charge someone with possession with intent if there’s additional evidence to suggest that distribution of the substance was the intent. Simple possession is typically more commonly charged but if there is enough evidence to suggest that distribution was an issue, it’s not uncommon for someone to be charged with possession with intent.

This is especially true in situations where there’s a larger amount of the substance or when there’s additional evidence such as baggies, scales or anything that’s showing that the defendant was weighing and distributing exact amounts or packaging them so.

How Does The Government Prove Intent?

The government proves the intent in a variety of ways. Obviously it’s not possible to read someone’s mind and know what their true intentions were but there’s certain types of evidence that are commonly accepted as being enough to prove what someone’s intent was with their controlled substance.

Generally this comes in the form of anything that shows that someone was doing more than sitting at home casually using their drugs. For example, scales, baggies, a list of names, large amounts of cash or large amount of a drug are all examples of evidence that suggests that the substance wasn’t for personal use alone.

Penalties For First Time Offenders

First time offenders are typically put on probation rather than put in jail. The judge will then continue the case for about six months, sometimes up to a year, and give the defendant a list of requirements that need to be met in that time period. These requirements typically include a treatment or substance abuse program, random drug screenings, 24 hours of community service for misdemeanors or 100 hours of community service for a felony, a suspended driver’s license and all of the fees and costs associated with the probationary period.

Once this six-month or a year period is up, if the defendant has met all of these requirements, then the judge will dismiss the case. However, if later on he gets convicted again or charged again with a drug crime, then that crime will be treated as if the first time had not been dismissed. So it’s really important that if someone is going to take advantage of the first offender program, that they do not plan on having a second offense.

Importance of Hiring a PWID Lawyer in Newport News

It’s important to have an experienced Newport News possession with intent to distribute attorney with these kinds of charges because these are very complicated charges and oftentimes there are a lot of defenses available. Even in situations that seem hopeless, there’s a lot of room for negotiation with sentencing, depending on the facts of the case and of the defendant himself.

Having a lawyer ensures that you’re able to get the best possible outcome. An attorney has experience dealing with similar cases more so than you do, hopefully. This familiarity means that more likely than not, they know of options that you don’t know of and they know how you can qualify for them. Many times defendants will feel backed into a corner without realizing that they have other options available.  These cases also often come with active jail sentences. So they shouldn’t be taken lightly especially if there is another option which is an attorney.