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If you’ve been charged with intent to distribute in Delaware County, then you’ll likely want to seek out legal representation as soon as possible. Being charged with any type of drug crime is a big deal, but it’s especially more so if the crime you’re accused of is intent to distribute. Being charged with possession of drugs doesn’t carry as severe of penalties are being charged with intent to distribute drugs does.
Penalties for Intent to Distribute
First of all, possession with intent to distribute is a felony charge. In some cases, that charge could be a federal one if you took the drugs across state lines or were otherwise trying to distribute across states. If the activities stayed within Delaware County and the state, then it would be the state of Pennsylvania prosecuting you. Regardless of whether you’re charged with a federal or state felony, you could be facing up to 15 years in prison, depending upon the amount and type of drug you were allegedly intending to distribute. Schedule I drugs are ones for which there is no medically accepted use, so it’s never lawful to be in possession of any amount of them. If you’re accused of attempting to distribute them, then you could be facing more severe penalties than if you’re accused of attempting to distribute Schedule II or III drugs, which do have some type of medical value.
In addition to having to serve time in federal or state prison, you could also have to pay fines as high as $50,000 depending upon the specifics of your case. Obviously, the amount of prison time you’ll have to serve and the fine you’ll have to pay will be amplified if this isn’t your first drug possession or intent to distribute charge. Pennsylvania imposes strict penalties on repeat offenders of drug crimes.
In addition to the legal punishments you’ll have to deal with, you’ll likely have to deal with many other repercussion as well. For instance, going away to prison for any length of time could be enough to destroy your relationships. Your spouse could divorce, you’ll miss part of your children’s childhoods if you have any, and your friends and other family members might not want to have anything to do with once you’ve been convicted of a crime involving drugs. It could also affect your future relationship-making ability since many people will refuse to date a felon.
On top of all this, your felony status will be public, and you’ll have to include it on job applications. This could make getting a job more difficult for you since many people won’t want to hire a felon who’s been convicted of drug crimes. It could also keep you from being able to live in certain apartments, gated communities and other such rented properties.
Contact a Lawyer
As you can clearly see, being convicted of intent to distribute can negatively impact your life in many ways. It’s of the utmost important that you get a good criminal defense lawyer to represent you throughout your trial. A criminal defense attorney who’s had experience with dealing with intent to distribute charges before can assess your case to determine whether he or she can get the charges dropped or at least reduced to lesser ones.
For instance, you might not have really had an intent to distribute the drugs the police office found you with. Maybe you just had the drugs for personal usage, but due to the large quantity of drugs found on your person, the police officer charged you with intent to distribute. In cases such as this, your lawyer might be able to get your charges reduced to possession instead of intent to distribute.
Even if your lawyer can’t get your charges reduced or completely dropped, he or she has the relationships with the prosecution to secure you the most favorable plea bargain. For instance, in exchange for agreeing to enroll in a drug treatment program, you could have some of your incarceration time mitigated.