Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute is charged when a person is in possession of an illegal drug or for which they do not have a valid prescription and evidence of intent to distribute can be found such as: the drugs are packaged in small quantities individually wrapped, a large amount of currency is seized, scales, baggies, beepers or multiple cell phones are found. The quantity of drugs alone may trigger a charge of distribution or trafficking in the drug.
Penalties for possession with the intent to distribute depend on the type of drug and whether a person is charged as a subsequent offender. Punishment can range from probation to 2½ years in the house of corrections to 10 years in a state penitentiary; a subsequent offender would face a mandatory minimum sentence. A subsequent offender will face a 3 year mandatory sentence for cocaine and a 5 year mandatory minimum for heroin. The registry of motor vehicles normally will suspend the license of someone convicted of a drug offense; the length of the suspension varies depending on the charge.
Possession with intent to distribute can be charged for any type of controlled substance, it is usually related to cocaine, heroin and prescription type pills. Distribution of marijuana or possession with intent to distribute marijuana can still be charged and is criminal.
Although marijuana is no longer criminal to possess under 1 ounce, a small amount still can be charged criminally if it is proven that the person possessed it with the intent to distribute. Distribution or evidence of distribution as mentioned above can be determined but such things as packaging, large amounts of currency or other evidence of intent to distribute.
When you possess a drug in large amounts it is inherently assumed that your intent is to distribute and those offenses are called trafficking in drug offenses. Possession of over 18 grams of cocaine is considered trafficking similar with heroin and certain other drugs. Trafficking offenses carry a mandatory minimum sentence depending on the type of drug and quantity.
Possession with intent to distribute drugs is usually charged when there is a smaller amount which is not a trafficking amount but yet it is felt that the possession of these drugs was not for personal use but rather to distribute.
As a Boston attorney Frank Fernandez has represented many clients charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs and has successfully defend their cases. A defense could be that it is not for distribution but rather personal use, this would be a lesser offense of possession of the drug rather than possession with intent to distribute which carries a harsher sentence and a longer suspension of someone’s drivers license.
Possession with intent to distribute can be charged in both district courts and superior courts throughout all of Massachusetts. If you are facing the charge of possession with intent to distribute or distribution feel free to call for a free consultation.
Usually undercover detectives witness suspicious behavior or see a hand-to-hand transaction they then approach the person who is believed to be the purchaser and inquire about the transaction that they just witnessed. Routinely it is discovered that the person was buying drugs and they then move in to speak with the person who they believe to be the distributor. The person who is believed to have sold the drug is usually charged with distribution and if he has any other controlled substances still left on his person is charged with possession with intent to distribute. Attorney Frank Fernandez can help with distribution of drug charges as well as possession with intent to distribute
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