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What are the penalties for possession with intent to distribute?

Being accused of a drug crime is serious. Various situations could cause a person to face these allegations. The search of a vehicle, a search of ones’ person or even the search of a residence could cause evidence to be uncovered. Depending on the amount and the illicit drug in question, this could cause law enforcement to believe that the accused was in possession of these drugs as a means to sell them.

What are the penalties for possession with the intent to distribute? Before going into the consequences that could befall an offender convicted of this crime, the elements of the offense will be explored. There are three components to consider with this crime. This includes possession, intent to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute.

Possession occurs when a person has knowledge of the drugs in question and is in control of them at that time. For intent to distribute to be proven, the evidence much indicate that the person intended to sell the controlled substance. This assumption is often proven if the quantity in question is too large to be for only personal use. Finally, possession with the intent to distribute requires that a person be in knowledgeable possession of a drug he or she is in control of, and the accused is in possession of a large amount of a controlled substance.

Those charged with possession with the intent to distribute could face state and federal penalties, depending on the details of the alleged crime. The consequences are also dependent on the accused’s criminal history, as repeat offenders get harsher penalties. This crime typically results in both imprisonment and hefty fines.

Facing allegations of a drug crime is a serious situation. While the severity of the charge is dependent on the type of illegal narcotic involved, the amount in question and the conduct the defendant is accused of committing. Nonetheless, not matter how harsh the potential penalties, it is important to consider the criminal defense options available. This could make a huge impact, helping the accused clear his or her name.

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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