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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Chester County Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Lawyer

Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance first requires the accused to possess a substance that is either a street level drug or a controlled substance that requires a prescription, without said valid prescription.  Additionally, the accused must have the intent to deliver it to another person. It does not require that there be an exchange of money or valuables for the substance.  Additionally, the amount of drugs that a person possesses, even if it is not transferred, may infer possession with intent.

Charges of this nature are extremely serious and as such should be dealt with through an experienced Chester County possession with intent to distribute lawyer. An experienced drug attorney can help by guiding an indiviudal through the legal process and ensuring they know what to expect throughout their case.

Standard of Proof

In the Commonwealth, the prosecution has the burden to prove possession with intent to deliver beyond a reasonable doubt.  The state attorney may be able to establish the first element, possession, by showing that the accused had an impermissible substance. The second element, intent to distribute, they may attempt to prove by using some of the following forms of evidence:

  • Surveillance
  • Direct buys
  • Confidential informant buys that are set up by the police

In this last instance,  an individual is clearly approached or sale is made.  The more complicated cases occur when an individual is in possession of a quantity that is presumed to be greater than necessary for personal use.

Difference Between Possession and PWID

In Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth  and a defense of experts determine whether the amount of drugs possessed constitutes possession with intent to deliver or simple possession. In cases where drugs are clearly handed from one person to another, experts are not necessary because the act of delivery exists. When the accused is in possession of a large quantity of drugs or packaging materials, scales, firearms, or money, the Commonwealth uses all of its resources to defend its position and support its argument of possession with intent.

Possession with the intent to deliver is a felony that has harsher sentences and impacts an individual’s future in a significantly greater fashion. Having this type of felony can also prevent an individual from being considered for diversionary programs which makes it imperative that a Chester County possession with intent to distribute attorney is contacted immediately.

Potential Penalties

Possession with intent to deliver has more severe penalties, than possession. Being convicted of possession with intent to deliver as a felony may be punishable with up to 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine for a first offense. For subsequent offenses, the potential sentence can be increased to as much as 20 years or more in prison and a $250,000 fine. The specific penalties and the final outcome are ultimately determined by the specific facts of each case, as well as the persuasiveness of both the evidence and arguments presented on both sides making it important that a possession with intent to distribute attorney in Chester County is contacted.

How Charges Occur

Possession with intent to deliver is often charged because an individual had a large quantity of narcotics in their possession at the time of arrest. The Commonwealth drugs experts will testify that the quantity of narcotics discovered are not indicative of personal use. Under those circumstances, what would otherwise be a possession charge will be escalated to possession with intent to deliver, which is one of the most serious felonies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Any arrest involving a significant quantity of drugs or drug paraphernalia can often be upgraded from a possession case to possession with intent to deliver. If the police arrest a person for smoking marijuana and find 60 packets of cocaine and a large sum of money or a small scale, the case is likely to be escalated to possession with intent to deliver. These are indicators, from the Commonwealth’s perspective, that the accused is engaged in more than simply engaging in the personal use of the controlled substances in question.

 Contacting a Lawyer

It is more difficult to establish intent to distribute, which the prosecution must do. In these cases, an experienced defense attorney plays the greatest role. The attorney can do some or all of the following, as applicable, in order to build the strongest case possible:

  • Secure experts
  • Gather resources
  • Include investigators to argue possession, rather than possession with intent.

Therefore, if an individual is charged with possession with intent to deliver in Chester County, it is essential to obtain the services of an experienced Chester County possession with intent to distribute  attorney.