Pennsylvania Intent to Distribute Lawyers
Having possession of any illegal substance in Pennsylvania can lead to harsh legal consequences, and your circumstances may be even worse if you are also charged with an intent to distribute. This is a separate charge that may be added on to drug possession charges, and it is meant to further punish those involved in drug trafficking. Here are some important things to do know about Pennsylvania intent to distribute charges.
The Legal Definition of Intent to Distribute in Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania, possessing drugs and planning to sell or give them to others is called possession with intent distribute. According to Pennsylvania Health and Safety Code, Title 35, Section 780-113, the legal definition of possession with an intent to distribute is a person who grew, manufactured, or otherwise obtained an illegal drug and then either gave or planned to give it to someone else.
Punishments You Face If Convicted of Intent to Distribute
Because intent to distribute is considered drug trafficking, the penalties for it are quite severe. Even if it is a first offense, it is almost always a felony charge. As such, possession with an intent to distribute always comes with time in prison and a hefty fine. The exact punishment will vary depending on how many offenses you have had, what type of drug you had, and how much of the drug was in your possession. Due to mandatory minimum sentencing, a conviction comes with at least one year in prison. Depending on circumstances, you can end up with up to 10 years in prison and fines of $50,000.
How Is Intent to Distribute Proven in Court?
Prosecutors tend to focus on two types of strategies when trying to prove that you should be convicted of an intent to distribute drugs. Their first strategy relies on sharing proof of any actions you did or statements you made that could indicate you planned to distribute the drugs to others. If this fails, prosecutors can argue that the amount of drugs you had was so large that the only reasonable conclusion is that you planned to sell these drugs to others. These are the minimum amounts you must have for Pennsylvania law to let prosecutors use this argument:
- Two pounds cocaine
- Two pounds marijuana
- Five grams methamphetamine
- One gram heroin
- Two grams of any other Schedule 1 or Schedule 3 narcotic
How Can a Lawyer Help With Intent to Distribute Charges?
If you are facing charges, your Pennsylvania intent to distribute lawyer can help through many methods. Their overall goal will be to show that you do not meet the legal definitions for possessing drugs or intending to distribute the drugs. Depending on your case, here are a few strategies your lawyer may use:
- Showing that the police did not use constitutional methods when arresting you or finding evidence against you.
- Arguing that you did not actually possess enough drugs for intent to distribute charges.
- Explaining other reasons that you possessed the drugs besides a plan to distribute them.
- Casting doubt over whether or not you really were in possession of the substance.
- Claiming you did not knowingly have an illegal drug in your possession.
- Calling into question the reliability of witnesses against you.
- Arguing that the police’s action consisted of entrapment and you would not have distributed drugs without the influence of the police
If you or someone you know is being charged with intent to distribute, the potential consequences can be very severe. Do not hesitate in getting an experienced Philadelphia drug possession attorney who can help. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.