Chesterfield Possession With Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute in Chesterfield County constitutes a large amount of a certain drug in your possession and if you have what is referred to as “tools of the trade” like baggies, scales or large amount of cash. If someone is found with any one of these, officers will charge them with possession with intent. In addition, possession with intent comes with significantly higher penalties than simple possession. It will typically come with an active jail sentence, a high fine, and in many cases, is a felony versus a misdemeanor.

These charges are serious and can have a very damaging impact on someone’s future if they are convicted. Seek out an experienced drug attorney in Chesterfield County who has handled possession with intent to distribute charges before. Experience can make a huge difference on how someone’s drug case progresses. A lawyer who has built familiar relationships with local prosecutors and judges will know what defenses work better than others and will apply that knowledge to helping you secure a favorable outcome.

How Possession With Intent Gets Charged

The most common way possession with intent charges occur in Chesterfield County are the result of traffic stops. Routinely, an officer find drugs after stopping an individual for running a red light or speeding, then developing some suspicion about drug use and conducting a search. Police officers can conduct a search with or without your consent depending on the circumstances. Typically, the officer will either find a large amount of a drug or find a small amount but find it in conjunction with baggies, scales, or a large amount of cash which will lead to the possession with intent charge.

Chesterfield County does routinely charge with possession with intent in cases where they find tools of the trade. Typically, this refers to baggies, scales or a large amount of cash. Officers are given a great deal of discretion in charging this and in most cases they’ll err on the side of charging the harsher violation than just mere possession.

Proving Intent to Distribute in Chesterfield County

The government proves intent via the amount of drugs found or other items found in conjunction with the drugs. If a large amount of drugs is found, the Chesterfield police assumes that the possession is with the intent to later distribute them. If the drugs are found in connection with baggies, scales, cash or other items of the drug trade, it is evidence of intent. In these cases, the charge will be possession with intent versus simple possession.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession is basically possession in which you do not actually have anything on you personally but have knowledge or should have knowledge of where an item is. Even though the item is not on your person, the way the law views it is that you knew or should have known where it was. This is also referred to as having domain or control over the item. The most common example is when a car is searched and the drugs are found either in the glove box or center console.

The items may not be on you personally, but because they are in your vehicle, you knew they were there or you should have known that they were there. That is the most common way constructive possession occurs. Though constructive possession is an effective way for prosecutors to prove their case, an experienced Chesterfield drug lawyer will be able to build find a defense that may be able to dismantle the prosecution’s argument.

Fairness of These Charges

These circumstances are usually not very fair to those facing possession with intent to distribute charges, because this requires prosecutors or the police officers to make an assumption about what your intent was. Often, an individual is arrested with a small amount of drugs and might have a few baggies, scales or cash that may be unrelated to the drug trade, but because it is found with the drugs, the individual is charged with possession with intent. Routinely, this charge is made in error and is based on the state or law enforcement officers making an assumption about the person’s intent. Having a Chesterfield drug attorney by your side would be an effective way to make sure that the prosecution isn’t making erroneous charges that could have a devastating impact on  your criminal record.

Importance of a Chesterfield County Drug Lawyer

It is very important to have an attorney on a drug possession with intent charge in Chesterfield County. The penalties that you could face with this sort of charge are immense. There could be a long-term jail sentence, high fines and a license suspension. Additionally, the law allows for challenges to the charge, so an attorney can challenge the stop, the probable cause for the search or even whether there was intent to distribute. Finally, an attorney can also try to negotiate with the prosecutors to either have the charge reduced or to try to arrange for alternative sentencing.

Possibility of Diversion Programs

There are first offender type programs and diversionary programs offered on possession with intent charges. Many of these circumstances depend upon the prior record of the individual and on how much of the drug was found. An attorney can try to negotiate an arrangement for a first offender status or try to arrange an agreement for the drug court in Chesterfield. This routine requires community service, drug treatment and a license suspension, but the long-term outcome usually results in a reduction or dismissal of the charge.