Drug Possession and Distribution: The Keyword is INTENT
You already know a charge of drug possession is a serious matter that can affect your life in a number of ways. However, those charges become even graver when intent and distribution are added to the mix. Penalties become higher and punishments more severe.
If your charges include possession with intent to distribute, a conviction will likely net you serious jail time, among other penalties. As you are no doubt aware, this is a confusing and turbulent time — your freedom, job, and family life are at risk — and only a seasoned Washington drug defense lawyer can help point your case in a more positive direction.
If you are caught with drugs in your possession, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to avoid making any statements without your attorney present. Do not inadvertently incriminate yourself, even if you know you are innocent.
Sometimes, even if you are simply caught with drugs in your possession, authorities may try to charge you with intent to distribute. Intent changes penalties significantly, and can move a crime from misdemeanor up to a felony. A Washington drug crime defense lawyer works to prevent this from happening to you.
Even though the courts call it "intent," it's more about the amount of drugs in your possession that lead authorities to make an "intent to distribute" charge. Having large quantities of drugs and paraphernalia like scales or plastic bags all point toward intent.
Especially if this is your first offense, your attorney will work to plead down charges and try to get the minimum penalties possible. Defense strategies might include unlawful search and seizure, improper handling of evidence, or perhaps simply the drugs were not yours. However, typical penalties for possession and distribution include:
- Jail time from five to 10 years
- Fines from $10,000 to $100,000
- Felony charges
A felony charge on your record may never go away. If you are charged with a drug crime in Tacoma, Washington, contact a drug crime defense attorney as soon as possible.