Maryland Possession with Intent to Distribute Lawyer
Possession with the intent to distribute in Maryland is having any controlled dangerous substance with the intent to give or sell it to others. The manner in which an intent to distribute charge is proven will vary on a case-by-case basis. Often, whether the intent to distribute was present is based on the quantity of the drug possessed. A large quantity of a particular controlled dangerous substance can speak to a person’s intent to distribute that substance.
Other circumstantial evidence might also be used in order to prove intent to distribute, including evidence such as paraphernalia, scales, ledgers, large amounts of cash, or actual hand-to-hand distribution that police officers might witness.
Penalties for these offenses can be extensive and it is important to combat them early on with the help of a skilled Maryland drug attorney. A Maryland possession with intent to distribute lawyer can build a defense for their client to try to mitigate any potential penalties they face.
How is Intent to Distribute Proven?
First, the prosecutor has to prove that somebody was in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and the term possession of a controlled dangerous substance is not always easily defined.
There is a difference between a simple possession, which is also known as actual possession, where a person has possession in their pocket or backpack or some other way that is undisputedly within their dominion and control, versus constructive possession, where a person might not have a particular controlled dangerous substance on their person. Instead, they might have it in their vicinity, a place where they exercise dominion and control over it, such as in their home, vehicle, or in a bag that is near them. In either case, a Maryland possession with intent to distribute attorney should be contacted to build a defense and fight the accusations of the prosecution.
A prosecutor also has to prove that there was some indication that the controlled dangerous substance was not merely in a person’s possession for personal use but
That could include the manner in which it is broken down. For example, if the drug is not all stored in one place but rather smaller baggies, it is commonly put in that form for purposes of distribution. Other evidence could be confiscated scales, ledgers, or large amounts of cash.
Many different people, including a police officer, are in charge of determining the difference between possession and possession with intent. Subsequently, a judge or a jury makes the final decision. A prosecutor makes determinations about moving forward against an individual with the charges, or potentially enhancing a simple possession charge to a possession with intent to distribute charge.
A Maryland possession with intent to distribute attorney can be essential in fighting these enhancements.
What are Escalated Charges?
Simple possession of a controlled dangerous substance is a misdemeanor offense, while possession with intent to distribute is a felony offense. A charge can escalate from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute in Maryland. Police officers are usually experts at reviewing the surrounding circumstances and making a determination about the strength of the possession with intent to distribute charge right away.
They will usually charge that offense if they believe they have the evidence to support it upon arrest. It is unusual that a simple possession charge will then escalate to a possession with intent to distribute charge after the arrest when a prosecutor has held it for reviewing the evidence, but it does happen. There are other indications that could make it a felony charge as well in terms of enhancement, such as drug trafficking, possession of a large amount, and drug manufacturing. In order to mitigate penalties and avoid enhancement, a possession with intent to distribute lawyer in Maryland should be contacted early on in a case.
If an officer has charged someone with simple possession of a controlled dangerous substance, the officer is trained to search the person, vehicle, and the surrounding area upon arrest, with some limitation.
An officer is trained to determine whether this person was just in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, or perhaps is possession with intent to distribute in Maryland. Usually, if an officer has arrested somebody for a simple possession and then finds larger amounts of that controlled dangerous substance, they will automatically begin looking for potential reasons to escalate those charges to possession with intent to distribute to move the charge into a felony posture.
Role of an Attorney
Many different issues arise when someone is charged with possession with intent to distribute. Those include constitutional issues such as whether a person was properly searched and whether the evidence against them was properly seized.
A Maryland possession with intent to distribute attorney is going to be well-versed in those particular areas of law and will be able to make the proper argument to potentially keep damaging evidence against the individual out of a courtroom, which potentially puts them in a better position with respect to their criminal charge.
Additionally, there could be disputes about constructive possession in this case, oftentimes in whether or not a prosecutor has properly demonstrated those elements in a particular criminal case. Working with an attorney who has experience not only with these kinds of cases, but also with the court system, is extremely important in assuring the best possible defense.