Possession And Distribution Of Illegal Substances: A Primer
If you have been caught red handed with illegal substances, you might receive either a possession or intent to distribute charge; in some cases, both. It is important that these two terms are not used interchangeably, as the punishment for each respective crime can differ greatly, as well as the defenses used during a trial. Throughout the course of this brief primer, you will learn what the difference is between possession and distribution. As always, it is recommended that you consult with your drug charge attorney regarding any further questions you have that this material does not cover.
What Are The Differences?
Essentially, possession is a charge that implies that you simply had drugs on your person. Distribution, however, is a different matter. You need not necessarily have drugs on your person in order to be charged with distribution of a product. You could have arranged for one person to sell drugs to another individual; if you are caught doing this, then you will be charged with distribution, despite the fact that you had no drugs on your person. In most cases, possession is not included as a lesser offense of distribution. In other words, it is unlikely you will be charged with both crimes in this case.
There might be a case where, in fact, possession is included as a lesser offense of a distribution charge. This can change the dynamic of negotiations, to some extent. Depending on the municipality or state related drug charges, this can mean that plea negotiations and your ability to request jury instructions at trial are subject to change. It is for this very reason that it is important to hire the services of a drug charge attorney, such as Pollack & Ball LLC, who may better understand the intricacies of state and local drug laws.
It is imperative that you consult with an attorney if you are charged with simple possession or distribution. Discrepancies and variations of drug laws are incredibly commonplace, so it is also important that you hire someone who understands the contingencies of the law in the region in which you were charged. Before hiring an attorney, make sure that you consult with them, and he or she understands the specific laws of the jurisdiction in which you were charged.
Being charged with either possession or distribution can be a harrowing experience that is difficult to navigate. Hopefully, this primer has given you some idea of what to expect from the situation, should you ever find yourself in it.