If you have been accused of distributing drugs, a Fairfax drug distribution lawyer can provide representation as you respond to these charges. Distribution carries much harsher penalties than simple possession of a controlled substance. There are options for plea bargaining or defending yourself, but you need to make informed choices when responding to charges. Contact a drug lawyer in Fairfax for help as you handle the case against you.
Drug distribution broadly refers to importing, selling, or transporting controlled substances. Virginia law addresses the crime of drug distribution in Virginia Code Section 18.2-248, which also prohibits manufacturing, selling or giving away drugs, as well as possessing a controlled substance with an intent to distribute it, sell it, or give it away.
You will face the same penalties both for actual distribution and for intent to distribute. Prosecutors do not have to prove you moved drugs in order to charge you with distribution. You can be charged based on:
•Having large quantities of drugs in your possession.
•Evidence you actually distributed the drug, or intended to do so.
•Paraphernalia suggesting intent to distribute, like quantities of drugs that have been divided up into baggies.
The prosecutor has the burden of proving you had a controlled substance that you were distributing or intended to distribute. Code Section 18.2-284 includes a list of specific amounts of controlled substances that can elevate a drug charge beyond simple possession to the offense of possession with intent to distribute. This includes, but is not limited to:
•100 grams or more of heroin
•500 grams or more of cocaine
•250 grams or more of cocaine base
•10 or more grams of methamphetamine
A Fairfax drug distribution lawyer can help you review evidence obtained by law enforcement and that is being used to show your involvement in drug distribution. If you can make the jury doubt whether this evidence is true, you can introduce the reasonable doubt necessary to avoid a guilty verdict. If police or prosecutors obtained any of the evidence in an illegal search, your attorney can also help to make sure this evidence is ruled inadmissible.
Penalties associated with drug distribution vary based on your past criminal record as well as the amount and type of controlled substances. For having at least 100 grams of heroin; 500 grams of cocaine; 250 grams of a cocaine base; or 10 grams of meth, you could be imprisoned anywhere from five years to life and would be fined as much as $1 million.
For drug distribution offenses involving a Schedule I or II substance, penalties may include up to a $500,000 fine and between five and 40 years incarcerated. Distribution offenses with Schedule III substances could lead to between one and 10 years in prison, and Schedule IV substances could lead to a maximum of five years imprisonment. If the distribution offense involves a Schedule V or VI substance, the maximum penalty is a year in jail and $2,500 fine. If you have past convictions, you will face lengthier prison terms and larger fines.
Because distributing drugs is a more serious charge than merely possessing them, it’s imperative that you consult a Fairfax drug distribution lawyer before making any important decisions regarding your case. Your drug attorney can navigate the criminal justice system with you, be your advocate, and can be there arguing for bail at arraignment, helping you decide how to plead, talking to the prosecutor, investigating the evidence, and presenting your overall case.
The sooner you contact a Fairfax drug distribution lawyer, the sooner you can start getting legal advice from an experienced professional with knowledge of drug crimes cases. Call our firm today to schedule your free legal consultation and speak with our legal team.
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