Being arrested for the intent to distribute drugs faces substantial penalties if convicted. That is because West Virginia takes the unlawful selling and distribution of drugs very seriously. Police arrest on charges of unlawful intent to distribute based on the amount of drugs in the suspect’s possession. Distribution applies to the “local” dealer who sells in a limited area, just as it applies to those higher up in the distribution chain who sell across the country or even into other countries.
Distribution charges may also be made against a suspect if law enforcement finds drug distribution paraphernalia such as a large amount of cash, a scale, baggies, or other tools of the trade in a suspect’s possession. Depending on how the drug is packaged and where it was found, a suspect may face a distribution charge along with a drug possession charge. Distribution does not just mean the sale of drugs, but also includes the transportation of drugs.
Various factors can affect the penalties for a charge of intent to distribute drugs. Some of those factors include the type of drug, the amount of drug, and the suspect’s previous criminal record. Attempted sale to minors is also a very significant factor that enhances the penalties, along with distributing drugs near a school, park, or playground.
Because of the very serious penalties that come with a conviction for unlawful distribution of drugs in West Virginia, it is critical to hire an experienced attorney to help you defend against the charges in order to get the best analysis of your case and to understand your options.
A West Virginia drug distribution lawyer can advise you of all the possible defenses available in your case, and can help make those defenses in court. Those defenses relate to how the police conducted their investigation and arrest, whether or not you were misled by any police activities, or whether your constitutional rights were violated in any way. An experienced lawyer may also be able to help by convincing the government that a fair alternative to a jail or prison sentence may be available depending on your circumstances.
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