DRUG POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND DISTRIBUTION
POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
Possession with intent to distribute is also referred to as possession with intent to sell or possession for sale. No matter how the charge is worded, it basically has two elements. The first is that a person must have possession of a drug. The second is that the person must have the intent to sell or distribute the illegal drug.
How does the State prove intent? An intent to sell or distribute is often a factual determination that depends on the evidence at hand. Consider, for example, the amount of drug that a person may possess. If he has a small amount, the evidence would suggest a possible recreational drug user with little or no evidence of an intent to distribute. If, on the other hand, the person is found with a large amount of the same drug, the evidence may establish that he had the drug and intended to distribute it.
DRUG DISTRIBUTION UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
Drug distribution, or drug delivery, is essentially the transfer of an illegal substance from one person to another. Note that Washington law does not care about the exchange of money when it comes to a distribution charge. Consider a person that shares a small portion of his private stash to a friend. No money is given. The transaction is more of a gift. While the facts here don’t portray the person in question as a seasoned drug dealer, he can still get charged with drug distribution…in the same manner as one who delivers drugs for profit.
PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND DISTRIBUTION CHARGES
The penalties for both offenses are quite serious. Both possession for sale and drug distribution can lead to extensive jail time and thousands of dollars in fines (even hundreds of thousands). The exact sentence though will depend on the type and amount of drug involved. As a general rule, the severity of the penalty will increase with the amount of drug involved. Similarly, severity will also increase with the addiction level of the drug in question (i.e., more addictive drugs result in more severe penalties).
LEGAL DEFENSES TO THE DRUG CRIMES
Possession for sale and drug distribution charges don’t have to go unquestioned. Legal defenses exist for both. For example, with a charge of possession with intent to distribute, a criminal defense lawyer can argue that the offender never had actual possession of the drug involved. The same criminal attorney can also attempt to show that the offender never had the intent to distribute.
In the realm of drug distribution charges, a Seattle drug crime lawyer could form a defense on any underlying investigation that took place. Perhaps there was insufficient grounds for a warrant. Or, maybe drugs were found in an illegal manner. Drug defense lawyers can often build credible and powerful defenses based upon errors in investigating and illegally obtained evidence.
Regardless of the exact defense, one certainty remains – drug crimes require a skillful defense attorney. Black Law is a firm well proven in the areas of possession with intent to distribute and drug distribution. Our attorneys have over two decades of combined experience in these areas – as with numerous other criminal charges. Our firm works tirelessly on your behalf and we provide informed representation so that you understand every facet of your case. Please contact us now for a free case evaluation.
We serve clients throughout Washington including those in the following localities: King County including Bellevue, Kent, and Seattle; Benton County including Kennewick; Chelan County including Wenatchee; Clallam County including Port Angeles; Grays Harbor County including Aberdeen; Kitsap County including Port Orchard; Kittitas County including Ellensburg; Pierce County including Tacoma; Skagit County including Mount Vernon; Snohomish County including Everett; Spokane County including Spokane; Thurston County including Olympia; Whatcom County including Bellingham; and Yakima County including Yakima.
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