Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer
Minnesota takes drug crimes very seriously, and while recent years have seen the state loosen the restriction on the possession of some substances, the law is still the law. No matter what substance you have on you, if you have enough of it, an already pretty bad possession charge can become worse when they add “with intent to distribute” to it.
How a Possession Charge is Elevated
In its simplest terms, intent to distribute is a charge that comes from the possession of a large amount of an illegal substance. When you hold a large amount of a substance in your home or vehicle, and it is vastly more than you are likely to have for personal use, this is how possession becomes elevated with intent to distribute. However, intent to distribute is not simply about just having a large amount of a substance in your vehicle or property. Even if you have an amount just below the threshold, it can be elevated by the presence of the following as well.
Intent to distribute can come from the possession of:
- Baggies or any material that could be used for packaging for sale
- Chemicals used for manufacture of certain illegal substances
- A large amount of cash
Furthermore, intent to distribute often not need include a large amount of drugs in the pound amount either. Often dealers standing on known drug corners with a few bags in their pocket can be charged with intent to distribute as it looks like they were intending to make a sale. While a large amount of drugs can make a case on their own, often a smaller amount of drugs combined with any of the above is more than enough to charge you with intent to distribute by law enforcement.
Defending Against Distribution Charges
Distribution charges come with high penalties including a long prison sentence, and can be enhanced by what type of drug it was and even where it was found or sold. As such, it is crucial to be ready to aggressively defend yourself with the help of a skilled criminal attorney. Though a harsher charge than simple possession, there are a number of potential defense strategies that your case has available.
One of the primary defense strategies that comes with an intent to distribute charge revolves around the violation of your constitution rights, including:
- The illegal search and seizure leading to the arrest
- Entrapment on the part of the undercover officer that enticed you to sell to them
- Failure to abide by chain of custody rules when it comes to the evidence
- Violations in the creation or follow through of a search warrant
All of the above will be thoroughly looked into by your criminal defense lawyer. It should also be considered if you were the person in actual possession of the drugs. For example, if you were in another person’s car and simply driving it, it could be considered that the drugs were not actually yours and you did not actually know about them.
Unfortunately, there are cases where the only route is for your attorney to demonstrate that the drugs were strictly for personal use, which is still a possession crime. However, if intent to distribute can be disproved, it does lower the potential punishments.
Are you in Minneapolis and have been arrested for drug distribution or any other drug-related crimes? Contact us today to find out what Judith Samson, Attorney at Law can do for you. As a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, she is dedicated to making sure that Minnesota citizens don’t have to suffer unfair punishments for their crimes.
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