Montgomery County Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Lawyer
Possession with intent to distribute in Montgomery County simply means that someone is charged with distributing a quantity of a controlled, dangerous substance, or possessing it with some sufficient additional information that might give an indication that the person was planning, to or had the intention to, distribute.
The prosecution must prove that not only was someone in possession of a controlled, dangerous substance, but they were in possession of it with sufficient indicia to show that the person had an intention to distribute. A distinguished drug attorney will investigate the strength of the prosecution’s claims in order to build a strong defense.
Escalating Charges for Possession
Either a police officer, a commissioner or the state’s attorney can generate and determine charges and would make a final decision about what to charge someone with respect to intent. Montgomery County intent to distribute charges will graduate it from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge.
If the facts and circumstances allow and when the prosecution believes that there is enough probable cause to charge someone, they will often consider enhancing a simple possession charge to a Montgomery County possession with intent to distribute charge. It depends on each individual case and the evidence collected with respect to that case.
Someone will be charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled, dangerous substance depending on what it is, whether it is marijuana or not marijuana. There could also be companion charges such as simple possession of a controlled, dangerous substance as well as possession of paraphernalia. The possession with intent to distribute will be the most serious of charges.
Impact on Potential Consequences
Potential penalties for a simple possession charge are going to be very minor. For example, a simple possession of a controlled, dangerous substance could have a maximum penalty of one year to four years in jail depending on the substance; whether it is or is not marijuana.
For a possession with intent to distribute charge, those maximum penalties will magnify in terms of incarceration anywhere from the maximum penalty of five years all the way up to decades in prison, depending on the controlled, dangerous substance and how the felony charges are labeled by the charging body, whether it is a prosecutor, a police officer or a commissioner.
Aspects of an Intent to Distribute Investigation
Montgomery County drug possession does not require much intent. If a person is in possession of something on their body, then the government does not need to prove intent. If someone is charged with constructive possession, there might be more of a conversation about what the intent was behind it.
There is no intent to possess charge in the State of Maryland, only possession. Intent to distribute is its own separate charge.
Role of Constructive Possession
Constructive possession simply means that someone was not actually in possession of something on their person or in their immediate physical control, but rather they exercised dominion and control over it because of their proximity to it.
If someone is in a vehicle and something was found under the passenger’s seat and an individual was the only person occupying that vehicle, that might be enough for the government to prove constructive possession.
A Montgomery County possession with intent to distribute case requires the government to show constructive possession, for example, of a large quantity of drugs and paraphernalia related to distribution. This includes items such as scales, or baggies, or cash, or ledgers, even if they were not in the person’s direct possession but rather constructive.
Programs and Alternative Sentencing
Most counties in Maryland do not offer diversion for possession with intent to distribute cases. Diversion is usually restricted to misdemeanor simple possession cases for people who have no criminal background.
Benefits of a Lawyer
There are many complexities associated with Montgomery County drug possession with intent to distribute cases specific to constitutional issues and investigatory issues. Someone with no legal training would not know how to address these issues and properly explain them before a criminal court so that they could be properly litigated to the person’s advantage. A drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer with a great deal of experience handling these kinds of cases would know how to identify and address these issues.