Possession with intent to distribute is the second most common crime in the Superior Courts of Cobb County. The most common question we get asked is “why did I get charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute? It was for my own use?” To get charged with possession with intent to distribute the amount of drugs, while certainly a factor, is not the sole way to be charged. Factors that can make a simple drug possession charge to a possession with intent to distribute offense include having a large amount of drugs (either individually or in separate packages), a lot of cash, a client list, measuring scales, or plastic bags used to divide up the drugs to sell. If law enforcement discovers these items, they can be used as evidence that you were intending to sell or distribute the controlled substance.
As with our basic “strategies” for defending drug cases (see our felony Possession section), we always explore those areas first. We explore in particular issues of confidential informants that typically turn the police on to you to start with. Relatively few people are just out and about and “just happen” to get stopped by the police. If this is the case, sometimes the arrest may not be valid because the “snitch” doesn’t have first-hand information, or the information is old. Sometimes, the “snitch” works for the police and will try hard to get you to sell drugs to them even though you don’t sell drugs. This is called entrapment, and is a legal defense, and sometimes the “snitch” is totally unreliable and we seek to see who that person is. Sometimes these tactics can cause the charges to be dismissed or lessened to something other Possession with Intent to Distribute.
The penalties for conviction are high. For distribution of a Schedule 1-2 drugs, the range for a first offense is 5-30 years, and for a second or subsequent offense it is 10-40 or life. On a second offense, the State could also charge you as a recidivist and you would not be eligible for early release. For a schedule 3-5 drug, counterfeit or Marijuana, the range is 1-10 years. On top of those are fine and fees of up to $100,000. Seizure and forfeiture of items that were “related to the crime” (cash, cars, houses, guns, etc.) and loss of your driver’s license.
Don’t do this alone. It is true that a defense for Possession with Intent to Distribute is not cheap, but the potential costs of your freedom and reputation far outweigh the costs of a good defense. If you have a drug crime in Cobb County or anywhere in Northern Georgia, call or email us today.