Richmond Possession with Intent to Distribute Penalties

If you are facing charges, talk with a local lawyer to understand Richmond possession with intent to distribute penalties and build a defense. There is a wide range of potential penalties, all of which may be significantly reduced with the help of an attorney who has experience dealing with these types of cases in particular. Therefore, it is important to reach out as soon as possible in order to start building a strong defense and preparing for an effective negotiation.

Potential Penalties

Generally, for possession with intent to distribute, unlike a simple possession, instead of looking at up to 10 years in jail, a person can get up to four years in jail. Depending on the number of times in which the person has been arrested and has been convicted of this offense, they are looking at mandatory jail time, as well.

On a first-offense possession with intent to distribute, it could be anywhere from zero to 40 years in jail. On a second offense, it is still up to 40 years but there is a three-year mandatory minimum, meaning that the person is going to have to serve at minimum a mandatory time of three years if convicted of a second offense.

On a third offense, it is increased to 10 years in jail of mandatory time. Third-time offenders are not common, because often the previous penalties act as a successful deterrent. The big thing that comes into play when dealing with Richmond possession with intent to distribute penalties is going to be the jail time.

Alternative Sentencing Programs

There are no specific alternative sentencing programs when it comes to Richmond possession with intent to distribute penalties. However, there is a trend within the City of Richmond to do their best to encourage individuals to get the help they need. The Commonwealth will attempt to avoid giving somebody a conviction or jail time on a possession with intent to distribute if the possession with intent to distribute is a first offense and there are no aggravating factors within that first offense.

Frequency of Charge Escalation

It is not common in Richmond for a charge to escalate from simple possession to possession with intent. Normally, it works the other way around. It is more likely to see a case go from possession with intent back to a simple possession, likely with the help of an advocating attorney. This can occur when drugs are sent to a lab and the lab comes back to the court with a lower amount of an item. By working to have certain statements suppressed and not allowed to be used in court, through negotiation with the Commonwealth, a good attorney can have the charges reduced, and by extension, the resulting penalties.

Normally, only the reverse situation only occurs if, for example, labs come back with more drugs than were thought originally or labs come back with multiple different kinds of drugs. Then, it will go from possession to possession with intent.

Importance of Having Legal Representation

When dealing with any kind of possession or possession with intent to distribute within the city of Richmond, there are not only a lot of elements that must be proven, but there is a special jurisdiction in which negotiation is prevalent.

The Commonwealth attorneys have a lot of power with the defense attorney to shape and mold different alternative sentences that can be beneficial to clients. However, to access those, an individual needs an attorney who is familiar with the area, knows who to talk to, when, and how. Such an attorney will be able to work together with the office of the Commonweal and is able to work with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to have these matters adjudicated in the favor of the client. That is why it is important and imperative to hire a local Richmond lawyer when dealing with these particular issues.