What Happens If I Am Charged With Possession With Intent To Deliver Even Though I Am Not A Dealer?
Intent to deliver, delivery, and manufacture, all of these are enhancements to possession. You can be charged with just delivery by itself but oftentimes people get charged with possession with intent to deliver. What that means is that the police officers believe that there are sufficient surrounding facts that the person did not just possess the drugs for themselves or for their own personal use but they possessed them with the intent that they would sell them and they would distribute them to other people. Some of the facts that would oftentimes come into play here would be whether or not the police had knowledge of facts that indicated that this person had been dealing drugs, whether or not the drugs were found in sufficient quantity but they would be more of what we normally consider to be of personal use, and if there were baggies or scales that were present.
That would indicate that the drugs were being packaged in such a way for sale. If this was the case that you were arrested for possession with intent to deliver and had a scale on you but you are not a dealer, it’s something that I would bring up to your defense attorney. The prosecutors, to varying degrees, will understand that there is less of a distinction between a dealer and a user than the public might think. Oftentimes there is actually a lot of overlap between them and the law actually anticipates that, in that possession of less than a gram is a state jail felony and for most drug offenses, if you are charged with delivery that bumps it up one grade of offense higher. So if you have 3rd degree possession, one to four grams and it was with intent to deliver, it would be made a second degree felony.
However, with state jail offenses for less than a gram, possession and delivery are both state jail offense where it doesn’t bump it up. That’s the recognition that oftentimes people who are charged with possession on the street are actually just passing a small amount from the actual dealer to someone else in exchange for a small fee, that’s still treated as a state jail offense. Additionally some users of opiates will weigh out their drugs prior to using them in an effort to prevent an overdose. That’s another reason that a scale could be used but not be for a dealer themselves. If this is the case, I would bring it up with your defense attorney and have them bring it up to the attention of the prosecutor. It will be a factor and a consideration but ultimately it’s up to the officer or the prosecutor and the grand jury to make a decision about whether or not they believe there is sufficient evidence to charge you with that and if they are unwilling to negotiate that with you, you may require a trial where a jury may be susceptible to these arguments.
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