If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent distribute in or around the West Palm Beach area, a distinguished drug attorney can try to make every effort to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. West Palm Beach drug possession with intent to distribute lawyers can work towards a beneficial outcome in your case by developing an aggressive and thorough defense strategy.
Florida Possession Laws
In Florida, drug possession charges generally fall into one of two categories–simple possession and possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or distribute a controlled substance. Simple possession generally involves a quantity of drugs that is more consistent with personal consumption than drug dealing.
What is the Legal Definition of Distribute?
Possession with intent to distribute is defined under the Florida Statutes. The term distribute means to deliver, which is the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of a controlled substance from one person to another regardless of whether money was exchanged. A person commits possession with intent to distribute if they:
- Possess a certain substance in an amount that is more than for personal consumption or is packaged in a way to evidence intent to deliver to another
- Have knowledge of the presence of the substance
- Seized material is a controlled substance
Possession can be actual or constructive. Actual possession means the controlled substance is on someone’s person such as a pocket, sock, or hand. Constructive possession is when the person knows of the substance’s presence and it is within their control. Constructive possession requires more than mere proximity to a controlled substance. Examples of constructive possession are when the contraband is in your car but not on your person or in your room in your home but also not on your person.
Classifying Possession with Intent
West Palm Beach drug possession with intent to distribute lawyers have seen cases where controlled substance charges carry more severe penalties than simple possession. Prosecutors often use certain evidentiary factors to distinguish between simple possession and possession with intent to distribute. This includes considering the quantity and type of drugs, large amounts of cash, packaging of drugs into baggies, and the presence of drug paraphernalia (e.g. scales) or firearms and other types of weapons. Possession with intent to distribute is either a second or third-degree felony depending on the type of controlled substances involved. Penalties for possession with intent to distribute include jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.
What are Other Possession Charges?
Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute is classified as a third-degree felony, which carries up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Possession of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine with intent to distribute is classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
A conviction for possession with intent to distribute can also result in a driver’s license suspension, the suspension or revocation of a professional license, and a permanent criminal record. Penalties can be enhanced if the offense occurred in a drug-free zone (e.g. within 1,000 feet of a school), involves distribution to a minor, or the accused has qualifying prior offenses.
Contacting an Attorney
West Palm Beach drug possession with intent to distribute lawyers can answer any questions you may have, help you determine the best course of action in your case, and minimize the potential of a conviction. Getting these charges dismissed or reduced can prevent any convictions, jail/prison time or any Driver’s License Suspension. It may be critical to contact an attorney when you are suspicious of pending substance charges.