Drug distribution is a serious offense in Delaware County, even for first-time offenders. Therefore, it is important to know how to protect your rights and lay the groundwork for the best possible defense if you are facing charges involving the distribution of a controlled substance.
An experienced Delaware County drug distribution lawyer could help you make use of all defensive strategies and work toward a positive outcome. When you work with a dedicated drug lawyer, your attorney serves as your advisor and advocate throughout the process, fighting to protect your rights and interests.
Criminal penalties for drug distribution offenses vary depending on several factors. The type of drug involved, and the official classification of that narcotic, play a large role in determining the severity of penalties. In addition, the quantity of drugs at issue is also significant. The greater the quantity, the bigger the operation is presumed to be. If an individual has a record of previous drug offenses, the penalties imposed may be more severe.
A Delaware County drug distribution lawyer may be able to seek alternative or reduced penalties depending on the situation. Criminal penalties typically include a term of imprisonment and a fine.
When a crime is classified as a misdemeanor, the maximum prison sentence may be limited to 1-3 years. For instance, distribution of a controlled substance listed on Schedule V is treated as a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year of imprisonment and a fine of no more than $5,000. By contrast, distribution of a Schedule I or II narcotic is considered a felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Penalties may be even more severe if distribution is charged under federal law.
The state classifies controlled substances in one of five schedules related to federal drug classification schemes. Some examples of substances included on each schedule in include:
Substances with a greater potential for abuse and fewer or no medically accepted uses will be placed on Schedules I or II while substances more widely prescribed in medical practice will rank on one of the other schedules. A seasoned Delaware County drug distribution lawyer may be able to show that a substance should be classified on a different schedule.
Delaware County prohibits the manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver controlled substances. Police may infer an intent to distribute drugs from the quantity found or paraphernalia present.
Simple possession, without intent to distribute, is described in subsection (a)(16). This offense is penalized as a misdemeanor. Also, the distribution of small quantities of marijuana is penalized less severely so long as there is no sale involved, so it may be possible to prove a person charged did not sell the substance. A skilled drug distribution lawyer in Delaware County may be able to show that an alleged distribution situation involved nothing more than simple possession.
Most drug offenses beyond simple possession are penalized very harshly. Even a conviction for simple possession creates a criminal record that can interfere with future job prospects, housing opportunities, and more. Therefore, it is wise to take a strong stance to defend against the charges.
A knowledgeable Delaware County drug distribution lawyer could explain the ramifications of the specific charges against you and review your options for fighting those charges. Call today to schedule a consultation.