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Bethesda Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Lawyer

Possession with intent to distribute is defined as someone being in possession of some controlled or dangerous substance in a quantity that is indicative of the intention to distribute or in companion with other paraphernalia that might be indicative of an intent to distribute.

Paraphernalia can include scales, baggies, ledgers, large amounts of cash, and things of that nature. There is no defined amount for somebody to be in possession of with intent to distribute. The totality of the circumstances leads to these types of charges.

An experienced Bethesda drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer can mount a strong defense to help lessen or dismiss any potential penalties.

Possession vs. Possession with Intent

When it comes to charging a person, the officer makes the decision to charge someone with possession or possession with intent. Whether the person is indicted is a question for the grand jury and depends on if the information shows probable cause to charge with possession with intent to distribute.

The final decision maker is the finder of fact, a judge or a jury, who can determine whether something is a simple possession or possession with intent to distribute.

Escalating the Charge

It is only common for a charge to escalate from simple possession to possession with intent when additional information is discovered or an additional evaluation took place where a prosecutor or police officer made the determination that the charges should be enhanced.

Burden of Proof

The prosecutor must prove that somebody was in possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a substantial quantity that indicates a possession with intent to distribute. Or the person was in possession of a controlled dangerous substance along with other circumstances such as the possession of any kind of paraphernalia indicative of an intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

A Bethesda drug possession with intent to distribute attorney can build a case to help refute any charges the prosecution may be trying to prove.

Investigating the Potential Intent

There is no significant difference in the way a case is investigated for intent to distribute as opposed to simple possession. Usually, when an officer conducts a drug-related investigation and discovers information associated with the intent to distribute such as the amount or other surrounding paraphernalia, they charge that offense.

Occasionally, there may be an investigation into a possession with intent to distribute the officer conducts that began well before they discovered the controlled dangerous substances. For example, they might have interaction with people who are charged with simple possession of a small amount of a controlled dangerous substance and, in exchange for having their charges dismissed, they provide information of their supplier.

In those circumstances, the investigation is far different from a standard simple possession case or when somebody was simply found in possession and the officer discovered additional information that might be indicative of distribution. A drug possession with intent to distribute attorney in Bethesda can inform an individual on the specifics of their intent to distribute charge.

Constructive Possession

There are two different kinds of possession – actual and constructive. Actual possession, is the kind of possession where somebody has something in their pocket, purse, or backpack that they are carrying with them. That could be the indication of somebody being in possession of something or actually being in possession of it.

Constructive possession is a bit different. Constructive possession represents a person being in a place where they may not have a particular controlled dangerous substance on their person, but they might be occupying an area where it is in their dominion and control.

For example, if they are driving in a car and the controlled dangerous substance is found in the back seat of the car. They are the owner of the car and the only person occupying the car. That might be enough to constitute constructive possession. If they are in a home that is occupied by other people and the controlled dangerous substance is found in a part of a home that only they occupy, that is a pretty good indicator of constructive possession.

Importance of an Attorney

The kinds of constitutional issues related to the unlawful search and seizure of particular premises are the most common with any drug-related charge whether it is simple possession or possession with intent to distribute.

Someone charged with possession or possession with intent to distribute in Bethesda should make sure to hire a Bethesda drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer who is well-versed in the areas of law that are explored during the course of their defense.