In Henrico County, possession with intent to distribute is determined by the amount of drugs in a person’s possession. For instance, over a half ounce of marijuana is classified as possession with intent. In addition, a possession with intent charge is developed where drugs are found with what is referred to as tools of the trade. These could be baggies, scales, money, and things of that nature. Possession with intent charges can result in up to 12 months in jail to several years in jail, depending on the amount of marijuana found and the individual’s prior record. There are some diversionary or first offender programs available for possession with intent charges. This will involve drug treatment, community service, and a license suspension. Anyone facing theses specific drug charges should consult with a Henrico County possession with intent lawyer so as to hopefully limit, or potentially eliminate, these penalties.
Henrico County routinely charges people with possession with intent rather than just possession, particularly where drugs are found with baggies, cash, scales, and/or if a significant amount of drugs is found. Typically, possession with intent is charged when an individual is found with a large amount of marijuana, usually in their vehicle or home, and with a significant amount of cash and/or with baggies, scales, or other tools of the trade.
Constructive possession means the person should have knowledge of where the item is and that they have dominion and control over the item. For example, if marijuana is found in the center console of their vehicle. While they may argue that they did not know it was there, under constructive possession they had control of it because they can reach it and should have known it was there under the law. This can impact a case, and also can be raised as a defense if the drugs are found in an area where it can be argued that the person did not have control over.
The government proves intent via the amount of the drugs found or what the drugs are found with, such as baggies, scales, money, and/or even a firearm. In addition, they prove possession with intent by statements that an individual may make. The government will attempt to prove that the amount of the drug, or what the drug was found with, proves that it was not solely for personal use, but was intended for distribution.
In most cases this is not fair to the defendant. In Virginia, what will happen, for example, is a small amount of drug will be found with baggies and/or cash that could be unrelated to the sale and/or distribution of the drug, but an individual is charged with this more serious offense. In many cases the application of the statute can be unfair.
It is very important to have a Henrico County possession with intent attorney when facing these types of charges because the attorney can review the case and raise possible defenses. Individuals also need an attorney that can review the state’s evidence and negotiate on their behalf.
In many cases with possession with intent charges, if an attorney can raise certain defenses the prosecutors may consider reducing the charge to a lower offense, like simple possession. It is also possible that a possession to intent lawyer in Henrico County may be able to convince the prosecution to recommend a diversionary program for the sentence.
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