Receiving any kind of drug charge is very serious, but possession with intent to distribute is a particularly concerning charge that regularly results in serious jail time. It is well known that drug charges receive some of the harshest sentencing handed down to any non-violent crime, often placing convicts behind bars for years at a time and altering the course of their lives irrevocably.
No matter what kind of drug charge you receive, be mindful to build as strong a defense as you can to fight these charges. If you do receive a conviction, finding work, housing or certain kinds of insurance may prove impossible, even after you serve the time in your sentence. An experienced attorney can help you examine your circumstances to assess defense options and do everything available within the law to protect your rights and future.
Both elements of the crime are necessary
In order for an officer to charge a suspect with possession with intent to distribute, that officer must have evidence of both possession of the substance in question as well as evidence of an intent to distribute. If either of these elements is absent in your case, it is possible to object to the charges on these grounds. While you may not succeed in throwing out the charges entirely, you may be able to push for a reduced sentence.
First, the prosecution must prove you had possession of a certain substance, which is sometimes not as simple as it seems. While many cases of possession arise because police allege a person held some quantity of a substance on his or her person, possession does not always mean the substance is physically controlled by an individual. Possession charges may arise even if the substance is in the home of a suspect, or in his or her vehicle, for instance.
Similarly, these charges require proof of intent to distribute. Even if you have a significant amount a substance, you may have grounds to claim that it is for personal use if there is no other indication of an intent to distribute. If you do argue against intent to distribute, you may still face other similar charges, but often involving reduced sentencing. Evidence of intent to distribute may involve certain equipment or communications that indicate distribution.
Protect your rights and your future immediately
It goes without saying that drug charges carry unbelievably harsh penalties, much more so than most crimes that do include some element of violence or large scale fraud. Even if you believe that the evidence against you is fairly strong, you should still fight against the charges to protect your rights from unfair sentencing.
However you choose to move forward, do not waste another moment waiting to build a defense. The sooner you build a strong legal defense, the sooner you can begin protecting yourself and your rights.