A New York Drug Defense Lawyer Explains Possession with Intent to Deliver
Many people wrongfully assume you cannot be charged with dealing or selling drugs unless you actually engage in a transaction, or at least attempt to. The reality, however, is that you can be charged with intent to deliver even if you do not transport, distribute, or sell any controlled substance. Simply because you have amounts of a controlled substance considered too much for personal use, penalties can become much more severe. When you are charged with a federal crime, you could even face lengthy mandatory minimum sentences.
If you’ve been accused of possession with intent to deliver, it is imperative you seek legal assistance right away. Depending upon your past record and the type and amount of substance, there is the potential that a conviction could lead to decades of incarceration or even life imprisonment. You cannot let your freedom be taken without putting up a vigorous fight.
Laws on Possession with Intent to Deliver
In the state of New York, a defendant who sells controlled substances can be charged with an array of crimes
The federal government treats the crime of intent to deliver differently than New York does. According to 21 U.S. Code section 841, the government does not need to actually prove drug sales occurred. The government can charge a defendant with intent to distribute based on drug volume. For example, having more than one gram of LSD or more than five grams of pure meth can result in charges of possession with intent to distribute, which is an offense that carries a mandatory minimum five year prison term even for a first time conviction with no past record of drug crimes.
Mandatory minimum sentences have given prosecutors on the federal level tremendous leverage. A prosecutor often will threaten someone with being charged with intent to deliver or another serious drug offense which carries a lengthy mandatory minimum term. The defendant, fearing a long time in prison if found guilty, may be willing to negotiate a plea deal to avoid the threat of such a harsh penalty. While plea deals can sometimes be the best option, no defendant should be coerced into accepting a deal just because there is such a grave risk of serious penalties because of the threat of mandatory minimum sentences.