Henrico County Possession With Intent to Distribute

Henrico County law enforcement officials take drug possession charges very seriously, especially possession with intent to distribute charges. Below, a Henrico County drug lawyer explains exactly what a possession with intent to distribute charge means and common ways individuals can expect to see this charge. For more information about possession with intent to distribute charges in Henrico County, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced local drug attorneys to help you fight your case.

What Constitutes Possession With Intent to Distribute in Henrico

Possession with intent to distribute is determined by the amount of drug found or items found with the drugs. For instance if it’s over half ounce of marijuana, that is considered possession with intent to distribute. In addition to that, if tools of distribution are found with the drugs like baggies, scales, or a high amount of cash, then that is also use as possession with intent to distribute.

Possession with intent to distribute comes with significantly higher penalties, and will typically involve an active jail sentence. These penalties can range from a high misdemeanor to a felony charge which could result in up to one to five years in jail.

Common Ways PWID is Charged

Most often we see possession with intent charge as results of a simple traffic stop. In many cases an individual is pulled over and after a search of the vehicle, a large amount of marijuana is found or the marijuana is found in connection with a number of baggies or scales or even a large amount of cash. If these are found together, officers will charge with possession with intent and as these items are considered tools of the trade.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession means you have knowledge of where the item is or have domain or control over that. This type of possession is viewed as possession where you knew or should have known where the item was. In other words, if the marijuana is found in a glove box or in a car center console where it’s within your reach or within your control you’re deemed to have possession.

Possession with intent comes with some severe implications to felony conviction with what can be a long term incarceration sentence as well as a mandatory license suspension.

Priority of Possession With Intent Charges in Henrico County

Henrico will regularly charge possession with intent if a large amount of drugs are found or if tools of the trade are found alongside the drug. These charges are a priority for law enforcement to stem the tide of distribution in the county, so they will typically charge possession with intent over possession if they have enough grounds to do so.

How Government Proves Intent

The Government proves intent via the amount of drugs found and/or if the drugs are found with other items of distribution like cash, baggies, scales, packaging equipment. The government uses possession of these items to show that the drugs were not from your personal use, but has intent to distribute it or for sale.

In many cases possession of a small amount of drugs can result in intent charges if it’s found alongside cash, baggies, and other instruments of the drug trade. Prosecutors and/or the officers will attempt to make an inference that the cash or other items are associated with the drugs. The application of the possession with intent charge is not always fair.

Is PWID a Priority in Henrico County?

Cracking down on drug distribution is a high priority in Henrico County. Henrico County law enforcement regularly use undercover officers and confidential informants to conduct buys with the goal towards stopping the spread of the drugs.  Law enforcement will specifically target the sale of more serious drugs of cocaine and heroin.

Other Types of Distrubtion Cases

Distribution cases are much more serious than mere possession with intent. Distribution of a controlled substance will result from evidence of act of sales or possession of a large amount along with tools of the trade. Tools of the trade can be cash, scales, and packaging equipment. Distribution charges will also result from the possession of a large amount and is becomes more aggravated if the drug is cocaine or heroin.

Drug distribution charges are much more serious if a large amount of drug is found and/or these drugs are found near a school or if they can show that sales were conducted to minors. In most cases with distribution charges, law enforcement will use confidential informants to make buys and/or officers – undercover officers to make buys off the defendant.

Constitutional Issues in PWID Cases

The most common issues we see in drug distribution cases are Fourth Amendment issues. These result from issues involving the search of an individual or a search of property and/or the seizure of their property.  Another issue is if there was probable cause for a warrant to be issued, in other words did law enforcement have enough evidence to request a warrant for the search of a property or premises to find a drug or to find the tools of distribution.

Importance of An Attorney

It’s extremely important to have an attorney when you’re facing a possession with intent charge due to the possible penalties you could face with most possession with intent charges.  If convicted there is the likelihood of active incarceration which can range anywhere from a year up to several years.

In addition, with these types of charges, you’re going to want an attorney that understands what the state needs and how best to challenge these cases. In other words, an attorney can challenge whether this was simple possession versus possession with intent.  You also want an attorney that knows how to pursue alternative sentences are available and how to qualify you for those programs.

Henrico County Possession With Intent to Distribute