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Any drug possession charge may incur significant legal consequences. Someone accused of a drug possession with intent to distribute violation could face even stiffer legal penalties. If you were charged with such an offense, reach out to an Oakland drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer.

In some cases, the way a person is arrested or the way a search occurs during a drug arrest could be problematic or unlawful. A drug attorney could review the factors surrounding your arrest and potentially provide legal representation in court.

Defining Possession With Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute often means that particular narcotics or illegal substances, that were recovered or seized from a person may not be just for personal use. That person might have intended to sell them or to distribute them to others. In that case, an initial simple possession charge could escalate into a felony charge.

Constructive possession is another type of drug possession charge which could escalate into a possession with intent to distribute offense. This generally means that the drugs were not recovered directly on the person, but from a place that the accused person has access to (such as their vehicle or their home).

In most cases, felony possession offenses are not eligible for any kind of Pretrial Diversion Program and may have significantly higher consequences in terms of incarceration, fines, fees, and terms of probation. Someone facing such charges may greatly benefit from meeting with an Oakland drug possession lawyer.

Determining the Charge

Ultimately, the District Attorney’s Office determines whether to charge a person with drug possession with intent to distribute. While law enforcement may make the initial arrest by charging the person with ‘possession with the intent to sell or distribute’ the drugs, the District Attorney’s Office typically will review the police report and decide what charges may be appropriate. This may include analyzing whether there is a sufficient basis to file a felony charge of ‘possession with intent to distribute’ or simply the misdemeanor charge of a straight ‘possession’ charge.

The District Attorney generally needs to prove that the drugs or narcotics recovered from somebody were not just for their personal use. In essence, the prosecution needs to demonstrate that a person allegedly intended, by virtue of quantity or packaging, to distribute or sell those drugs. Sometimes the initial arrest is for simple ‘possession’, but in the course of booking officers may find large quantities of money or text messages on the person’s phone that may serve as the basis of a felony charge.

Establishing Intent

When investigating a possible drug possession charge, law enforcement may attempt to determine the quantity of drugs on the person and in their possession. The quantity may be sufficient to show that the person arrested did not possess them simply for their own use, but for distribution to others.

Other factors law enforcement may consider with regard to ‘intent to distribute or sell’ are:

  • How the drugs were packaged
  • Were the drugs individually wrapped for distribution or sale
  • Were there communications suggesting that they are setting up a sale or distribution of drugs
  • Was there a confidential informant provided information about a scheduled exchange
  • Did officers observe a hand to hand transaction or did a confidential informant produce contraband after a planned drug sale
  • When the individual was arrested did they have a large quantity of money on them
  • Did the individual arrested make any incriminating statements about the drugs

If a person is observed by law enforcement actually selling drugs and is arrested, it does not typically matter if there is only a pill or two, or a small amount of drugs found in their possession. Such an observation by law enforcement generally constitutes a possession with intent to distribute or sell charge.

Consult a Drug Possession With Intent to Distribute Attorney in Oakland

Drug possession charges of any type could result in significant penalties upon conviction. A person who has been charged with such an offense typically should speak with an Oakland drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer as soon as possible.

This kind of accusation could greatly and negatively impact a person’s liberty and quality of life. A conviction could mean jail time and as a result, may disallow a person from providing for their family. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.

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The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

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As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

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When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

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